By: Sean Crose
Although he was scheduled to face Anthony Joshua for numerous heavyweight titles on June 1st at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller now stands looking at an uncertain future. The Joshua fight fell apart after it was revealed that Miller essentially failed a March 20th drug test from the Voluntary Anti Doping Agency (VADA) and the New York State Athletic Commission subsequently refused to license the 23-0-1 fighter. The drug found in Miller’s system was a weight loss substance known as GW1516. It was then revealed that Miller again tested positive for GW1516 on March 31st. On that same day Miller also tested positive for a strength building human growth hormone known as EPO. Both GW1516 and EPO are banned substances.
Now that he’s missed out on an almost five million dollar payday to face the 22-0 Joshua, Miller has come clean – a bit of an oddity in this current boxing era – after initially denying any wrongdoing. “I messed up,” the Brooklyn native said in an Instagram post. “I made a bad call.” Miller went on to acknowledge that he’s now paying the price for his indiscretions. “There’s a lot of ways to handle a situation,” said Miller. “I handled it wrongly and I’m paying the price for it. I missed out on a big opportunity.” Miller’s mea culpa went on to bleed into those he claimed he hurt through his actions.
“I hurt my family, my friends, my team, my supporters,” he said. “But I’m going to own up to it. I’m going to deal with it. I’m going to correct it, and I’m going to come back better. I’m humbled by the experience.” At the very least, Miller can take consolation in the fact that the New York State Athletic Commission doesn’t indent to punish him for the positive tests – aside from not granting him a license. When and where Miller will be able to fight again remains to be seen.
For the moment, all of this means that Joshua is left without a dance partner for June 1st. An enormously popular fighter in his home country, the Englishman is apparently still planning to make his US debut at the Garden that evening, even though Miller won’t be his opponent. Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, the two fighters most fans would likely prefer Joshua to face, have their own separate bouts lined up for the spring, virtually making a June 1st fight with either man an impossibility.