By: Sean Crose
I’ve spoken with Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller several times. He’s an interesting guy – one who is fascinating to talk to. Needless to say, I haven’t spoken to the man since he was popped for banned substances back in 2019. Now I hear he was popped for the same thing again, and that his July comeback fight has been canceled. There’s something about repeat offenders that fascinates us. It’s only natural, really. Why, we ask ourselves, do some people never learn their lesson? The offenders themselves might not even have an answer. The news of Miller getting busted for PED use again, however, has me thinking of other matters.
Miller, when we spoke, always struck me with his confidence. Unlike most of us, the guy was the picture of self assurance. He talked hard, worked hard, and fought hard. There seemed to be a lot of go to back up his show. Miller, in short, didn’t strike me as someone who questioned whether or not he could support the hype surrounding him with action. Clearly, though, the man wasn’t as confident as he appeared. It begs the question of whether or not he was confident at all, and if that famous swagger was all just a ruse.
It’s a strange thing, confidence. Everyone has it to some degree or other, but only a few among us can truly be referred to as confident with a capital C. None of us, for example, probably question whether or not we can make toast. We’ve done it before and will do it again. We don’t pause on the way to the kitchen to ask ourselves if we truly have what it takes to pull it off. We’re confident in our ability, and rightfully so. How many of us, however, have that same confidence when we make our way into a job interview? Not many of us, I’d be willing to bet. Lots of fighters, though, walk into a ring, sometimes before millions of viewers, looking like they have the same easy confidence the rest of us do going about everyday tasks.
They’re a rare breed, fighters, particularly boxers. Stepping in front of the public, boxers risk not only taking a world class beating, but also getting slowly humiliated by someone they absolutely, positively cannot effectively lay a glove on. In a very authentic sense, boxing truly is the roughest of sports. Confidence is required just to slip through the ropes. What exact kind of confidence does a fighter require, though? Muhammad Ali might offer some insight. For it was Ali who admitted to saying he was the greatest before he even knew he was. Add that to Mike Tyson’s honest comments on the nature of fear and we’re left with the idea that confidence is many times merely a mask to hide behind, or even an act of pretending to ourselves, rather than it is a genuine feeling.
In the case of Miller, and far too many others, confidence can prove to be a flimsy mask indeed.
By: Sean Crose
Boxing fans can easily recall last June 1st, when Anthony Joshua stepped into the ring for his American debut at Madison Square Garden, only to be stunned by heavy underdog Andy Ruiz. Although Johsua has since won back the title belts he lost that evening, few will forget the time Ruiz stunned the world. Such things stick in the memory. What may not stick in the memory is the fact that Ruiz wasn’t even supposed to be Joshua’s opponent that night. Brooklyn’s Gerald “Big Baby” Miller the man who had been scheduled to welcome Joshua to America that evening in the Garden. Positive drug tests, however, kept Miller from the fight. The opportunity ended up going to Ruiz.
Now, however, it appears that the 23-0-1 Miller is back on the heavyweight fast track, for it was announced Wednesday that the 31 year old had signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions. “Jarrell Miller is serious about coming back, doing things the right way and becoming heavyweight champion of the world,” said Arum via press release. “He is one of boxing’s most unique and exciting characters, but most importantly, he can fight.” Signing with Arum can open up new doors for Miller. Tyson Fury, the man who many consider to the be the lineal heavyweight champion of the world (the man who beat the man, who beat the man) fights with Top Rank. What’s more, Top Rank fighters are able to fight live in front of ESPNs massive audience.
“Minor setback for a major comeback,” Miller said, referring to the positive drug tests that kept him from facing Joshua. “I’m coming for everything and everyone. No one is safe. Say hello to the bad guy.” It was clear the undefeated heavyweight wanted to stake his claim among the colorful characters that now populate the heavyweight division. “Everyone wants to portray the superhero,” he added. “We don’t live in a sunshine world. I’ll never be the superhero. In my world, the majority of the time, the villain wins.”
Top Rank’s press release referred to Miller as “one of boxing’s most polarizing figures, a combination-punching heavyweight who also went 22-2 as a professional kickboxer.” Having once been one of the highest paid kickboxers in the United States, Miller still has his eyes set on heavyweight dominance. He also now has the backing to get him the kinds of fights that can make that happen.
“I couldn’t be happier that after months of hard work and perseverance, we were able to make this deal a reality,” said Greg Cohen, who now co-promotes Miller, along with Top Rank and Dmitriy Salita. “Since I started promoting Jarrell as a six-round fighter,” said Salita. “I have been saying that he would be the next heavyweight champion from Brooklyn. Working with Top Rank, I am confident he will have the chance to realize that goal.”
“Time,” said Cohen, “for Big Baby to get back in the ring!”
Top Rank stated Miller “will make his Top Rank on ESPN debut in 2020.”
By: Hans Themistode
Heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs) is eager to put the past behind him. During the 2019 boxing calendar, Miller was set to take on unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. The build up of their aforementioned contest was filled with vitriol and intriguing storylines.
However, due to multiple failed drug tests, Millers contest against Joshua was canceled. The Heavyweight contender was then forced to have an idle 2019.
His unfortunate transgressions could be viewed as a blessing in disguise as Miller has refocused his attention on tackling bigger problems in the sport of boxing.
Miller, who is of Belizean descent, visited his hometown recently. His trip to Belize was about more than just seeing the familiar faces that he grew up with. No, he made it clear that he eagerly wants to resume his boxing career, and quite possible in his hometown.
“І thіnk rіght nоw wе соuld dеfіnіtеlу dо а fіght іn Веlіzе,” said Miller. “But what I’d lіkе tо ѕtаrt dоіng іѕ ехhіbіtіоnѕ іn thе Сіvіс Сеntеr, іt dоеѕn’t rеаllу hаvе tо еvеn bе оn а mајоr wоrldwіdе lеvеl іt wоuld јuѕt bе ѕоmеthіng fоr Веlіze. Оnе оf mу mаіn gоаlѕ іѕ tо рut оn fіghtѕ or even do ехhіbіtіоnѕ іn thе соuntrу аnd јuѕt ѕhіnе аn еvеn bіggеr аnd brіghtеr lіght оn Веlіzе.”
It was a sudden but well appreciated gesture by Miller. Belize has seldom, if ever, had big time boxing events come across its soil. The excitement and attention that Miller could bring is something that is well appreciated by many, including the President of the Belize Boxing Federation, Moses Sulph.
“Вохіng hаѕ thе роtеntіаl tо ѕаvе mаnу оf оur уоuth, fеmаlеѕ, аnd mаlеѕ аll wе nееd іѕ а lіttlе rеѕоurсеѕ іnсludіng а gооd rіng аnd саn ѕtаrt оn оur RОАD ТО GLОRY,” Ѕulрh ѕаіd.
Although the idea broached by Miller is an intriguing one, the first step to making it a reality is first getting himself back in the ring. He doesn’t officially have a return date set in stone just yet, but with the Heavyweight division currently filled with great contenders and champions, Miller surely wants to place his name back amongst them.
By: Sean Crose
Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, the 23-0-1 heavyweight contender who was supposed to face Anthony Joshua on the night the heavyweight kingpin lost his titles to Andy Ruiz, has finally spoken out. As was reported by Boxing Insider at the time of the Joshua fight falling through:
“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.”
Miller was subsequently suspended by the WBA for six months. In a recently published interview with Cyntha Conte, the Brooklyn native opens up in depth for what appears to the first time since testing positive. “They don’t make you stronger,” Miller says of the substances found in his system. “They don’t make you explosive.” Although not outright declaring his total innocence, Miller states in the interview that there’s “a little bit of a gray area” regarding the matter. Still, the fighter is quick to add that “we’re not making excuses.”
Miller also admits that promoter Eddie Hearn, the force behind the failed “Joshua-Miller” fight, appears deeply displeased with what transpired. “I still have not had a conversation with Eddie Hearn to this day,” says Miller in the video. “Eddie’s still mad. I get it.” Yet Miller also argues he’s “got nothing to apologize to AJ (Joshua) for.” Miller later expressed his displeasure at Joshua’s reactions to the tests which derailed their fight. “He’s still a prick in my book,” Miller claims of the former titlist.
Although he says he’s taking the fact that his lost opportunity was Ruiz’ gain in stride, Miller still indicates in the video that Ruiz’ shocking win surprised him. “I knew Andy was going to beat him (Joshua) up a little bit,” he says, “but I didn’t know Andy was going to whoop his ass that way.” Ruiz’ big win, however, wasn’t entirely easy for Miller to swallow. “My first reaction ‘was damn son, that could have been me’,” Miller states, before adding “but my boy won, so be happy, because jealousy breeds hate and were not going to do that around here.”
“I’m not perfect,” Miller states in the interview with Conte, “nobody’s perfect.”
By: Jesse Donathan
News broke Monday afternoon, April 29, 2019 that undefeated heavyweight boxer Jarrell Miller has officially been suspended for six months by the World Boxing Association (WBA) for his failed Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) performance enhancing drug tests. Miller tested positive for the prohibited substances GW1516, human growth hormone (HGH) and Erythropoietin (EPO) earlier this month, costing “Big Baby” Miller a respectable pay day and a shot at the world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in the process.
BoxingInsider.com remarked Monday afternoon on Twitter that Miller, “failed for three separate PED’s. Most of these guys don’t even fight every six months. So that “suspension” is no suspension at all, really.” Miller has received, for all intents and purposes, a smack on the wrist for multiple infractions that most people would consider of a fairly serious nature.
For those with intimate knowledge of the professional combat sports world, the use of performance enhancing drugs in the ring, cage or field of play will come to them as no surprise. It’s the open, dirty little secret among those in the know. The charade starts when fighters, managers and promoters alike attempt to spin the truth into a fantasy world of rainbows, unicorns and lollipops. The laughable notion that most of the elite professional athletes are clean, and it’s the dirty, evil doing minority spoiling the impeccable integrity of the sport for everyone else is always front and center as the various entities attempt to spin the truth in order to protect their own necks, legacies and paydays from the real truth.
In what I have long described as the most eye-opening article on the use of performance enhancing drugs in competitive sports that I have ever read, a November 11, 2008 Spiegel.de article titled, “The Dealer Olympias” details an interview with Angel Heredia, former coach and trainer to Olympian Marion Jones, who explains his insights into the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Spiegel would go on ask Heredia if he was planning to watch the 100-meter finals in Beijing, who replies, “Of course. But we will not experience a clean Olympic champion. Not even a clean participant.”
“Of eight runners,” Spiegel asks Heredia in an open-ended question, there, “will be eight doped,” explains Heredia. Spiegel then goes on to explain that Heredia can’t prove any of his statements however. “It’s undoubtedly like that,” explained Heredia who knows a thing or two about Olympic athletes doping. What this information should mean for you, the viewer, is that the most elite athletes across professional sports are also using performance enhancing drugs. While there will always be some exceptions to the rule, its almost a given that some of the biggest stars in combat sports today are also on the juice.
In an April 20, 2019 IFL TV YouTube video titled, “You are (Expletive) Disgusting – Fuming Eddie Hearn Rips into Jarrell Miller Over 3 Banned Substances,” the boxing promoter and Anthony Joshua representative had plenty to say on Jarrell Millers failed tests. “I am disgusted that someone would try and take these lengths, and gain these edges in a physical fight, especially against one of our fighters. Especially against a friend of mine. Honestly, its (expletive) it’s really, like, it’s made me question many things. Many things. Even the sport.”
“What do you think will happen to Miller,” the reporter asked. “He should be banned immediately,” in Hearn’s estimation. “He must have been unlucky,” Hearn told IFL TV. “He knows they’re coming and they’re coming every week. You can’t cheat the VADA system that we have in place I believe,” Hearn proclaimed as threw his hands up in the air almost as to convince us he has no other knowledge to the contrary. “I mean it’s, like I say, it has to be the worst case of drug results of all time,” said Hearn.
If Hearn honestly believes this is the worst case of drug results of all time, he probably hasn’t heard of former UFC title challenger and Bad Guy Inc. CEO Chael Sonnen who tested positive for HGH, EPO, anastrozole and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) according to a June 28, 2014 bleacherreport.com article titled, “Chael Sonnen Tests Positive for 4 Banned Substances in Latest Drug Test” by author Steven Rondina.
There is almost a mass psychosis occurring in the combat sports entertainment industry, where the promoters, fighters and fans alike refuse to acknowledge the truth and play into the politically correct lie in order to convince themselves their favorite athletes are naturally superhuman. As opposed to unnaturally superhuman, which drives advertisers and investors away who naturally seek to protect their investments by avoiding any kind of negative connotations associated with their brand.
And therein lays the problem, money drives deception, which in turn keeps the charade going despite the overwhelming evidence to suggest performance enhancing drug use in competitive sports is as sure of a bet as winners and losers on the field of play. Yet the demonization of athletes who fail performance enhancing drug tests continues, despite the reality being all they are really guilty of is getting caught. Otherwise they are only operating on the same field of play as everyone else, the only difference being some athletes get caught and others do not.
“I knew he knew that he was going to get tested,” Hearn told IFL TV. “What worries me more about this sport is, is these people know they are coming and they do that. What the (expletive) they doing when they know that they’re not coming?” Hearn would continue on with the same old, tired argument I have read for years from those espousing the rainbows, unicorns and lollipop fantasy about performance enhancing drug use in sports.
“I know what he’s put in the game, Joshua. So, you’re saying that you’re willing to take everything Joshua has earned in this sport, everything that he’s achieved, you’re willing to take that away by cheating. You know, that’s not fair. Take it away from Joshua on a level playing field, you deserve. You’re the best heavyweight on the planet. But don’t try and cheat the best heavyweight on the planet by being a super human man that gives you the physical edge to do it.”
According to an April 1, 2018 BBC article titled, “Anthony Joshua: From Watford to world champion” the young British boxing champion was, “brilliant at football and athletics and broke the year nine 100m record with a time of 11.6 seconds.” The BBC would go on to write that, “Anthony became very good at the sport of boxing very quickly, and had won all 18 fights at amateur level during his early 20s. He soon set a goal to become an Olympic champion. In 2012, Joshua won the gold medal in the super heavyweight category at the London Olympics.”
An April 29, 2019 mirror.co.uk article titled, “Boxing News: Dillan Whyte Accuses Anthony Joshua of ‘legally juicing’” author Rich Jones wrote that Whyte, “believes boxing has a bigger problem with fighters gaining Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) to allow them to use banned substances legally.”
“He has accused heavyweight rival Joshua as being amongst the offenders – something he believes could have contributed to Miller’s decision to try and cheat the system,” wrote the mirror in what, if true, is a fascinating parallel to the sport mixed martial arts (MMA) where TUE exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) were common place before a ban was enacted by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and UFC in 2014 according to an ESPN.com Brett Okamoto report titled, “UFC to follow ban on testosterone therapy.”
Until the world of professional combat sports wants to come out of their mass psychosis and face the cold, hard truth that performance enhancing drug use is common even in the amateur ranks we can fully expect the charade to continue. This fantasy notion that most elite professional athletes are clean only serves to fill the pockets of those perpetuating the lie, and until a new paradigm on performance enhancing drug use is adopted to either make the penalties so severe that athletes will think twice about using them or performance enhancing drug use is outright legalized we can expect this ridiculous package of lies to continue.
By: Romer Cherubim
Anthony Joshua’s defense of his heavyweight boxing titles at Madison Square Garden, NYC on 01 June is mired in controversy. Firstly, his chosen opponent Jarrell Miller failed a drugs test for a banned substance. Then, the quest to find another fighter for the bout has been problematic.
Before Miller was selected as Joshua’s next opponent, Dillian Whyte was given a low ball offer to fight Joshua as his next defense, which Whyte rightly declined. It now emerges that Luis Ortiz was made a similar offer after Miller failed his drugs test, and Ortiz rejected the offer also.
The common denominator in all of this is Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn. The idea of the 01 June fight was to introduce Anthony Joshua to the American audience and make the fighter look good. It was not to arrange a contest, which was truly competitive. Fans across the world would therefore be cheated of watching a true challenge to Joshua’s reign as heavyweight champion.
The offers to Whyte and Ortiz were made unrealistically low on purpose so that the offers would not be accepted. As Whyte and Ortiz are genuine threats to Joshua, these offers were an elaborate ruse on the part of Hearn to make it look to the world that he was interested in his fighter competing against either Whyte or Ortiz, when that was the last thing in Eddie Hearn’s mind.
Further, this is not the first time that Joshua has not been able to fight his original opponent. On 28 October 2017, Joshua was supposed to fight the then number one ranked challenger by the WBA – Kubrat Pulev. However, Pulev withdrew from this fight late, forcing Joshua to compete against a lesser ranked opponent on the same day. The replacement Carlos Takam took the fight against Joshua on twelve days’ notice. Takam competed admirably. However, he lost. Now, the same thing is about to happen again. A challenger will be found at short notice, with not enough time to prepare for the fight against Joshua. Joshua will win and Hearn goes home a happy man.
Everybody connected with heavyweight boxing knows that Anthony Joshua is a cash cow for Eddie Hearn, which he intends to milk for all it’s worth. While this may be smart business for Hearn, it is not fair on boxing fans, some of whom pay lots of money to be ringside at Anthony Joshua’s fights.
Previously, a lot was made of Deontay Wilder’s apparent unwillingness to compete against the top fighters in the heavyweight division. Last year however, Wilder fought and beat Luis Ortiz and drew against the Lineal Champion Tyson Fury. In addition, Wilder is billed to face worthy challenger Dominic Breazeale on 18 May. Wilder has therefore dispelled this myth.
The sensible thing to happen is for the 01 June date for Joshua’s next fight to be vacated and an alternative date in September or October to be fixed for Joshua’s first defense of his titles in the US. However, that is not going to happen if Eddie Hearn has anything to do with it. In fact, Andy Ruiz Jr. has been mooted as a possible replacement to face Joshua on 01 June. Ruiz’s last fight was his win on 20 April against Alexander Dimitrenko.
If Anthony Joshua intends to be considered a true champion, he must assert himself with Hearn. Joshua must pay attention to the many fans he has across the world and give them the fights they deserve. Joshua must be ready to place himself outside his comfort zone and take difficult fights. This will test Joshua’s character. More than this, if he takes difficult fights with no unfair advantage, and wins them, it will prove that Anthony Joshua really merits being called Heavyweight Champion of the World.
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.
By: Jesse Donathan
News broke late Tuesday evening, April 16, 2019 that heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller has tested positive for the banned substance GW1516, putting his June 1 Madison Square Garden showdown with heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in jeopardy according to a cbssports.com article by Jack Maloney titled “Report: Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller fails VADA test before heavyweight title fight vs. Anthony Joshua.”
According to an ESPN report, “Sources: Miller, set to face Joshua, fails drug test” columnist Dan Rafael writes that, “GW1516, also known as Cardarine and Endurobol, is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list and is classified as a metabolic modulator. An athlete might use it to assist in fat loss or use it as an endurance booster.”
The world of performance enhancing drug use is a familiar one to athletes virtually across the board in sporting competition. Whenever winning counts, there will be competitors looking for any and all advantages over their opponents. It’s an instinct inherent within the human experience, survival of the fittest, where only the strong survive. And as the old adage goes, if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.
Competition in sport harnesses that primal instinct to win, to survive, and manifests itself in a variety of forms of sport where society rewards the best with a nearly god like status while reserving all others as mere mortals in the presence of said greatness. Whoever that may be in your respective sport of choice, whether its Tiger Woods or the great Michael Jordan.
“In order to try to evade detection, athletes who continue to dope are having to resort to the use of a far more dangerous form of drug – the designer steroid,” writes Ray Kazlauskas in his September 17, 2009 link.springer.com abstract titled, “Designer Steroids.”
According to Kazlauskas, “These steroids are manufactured to closely resemble existing known compounds, but with sufficient chemical diversity to ensure that their detection by the WADA accredited laboratories is more difficult.”
As you may have already surmised, there are known illegal substances and unknown illegal substances. These designer steroids that are of unknown compositions are difficult to detect because the tests administered to athletes are designed to look for specific markers only. The world of anti-doping testing is constantly having to evolve their methodology and understanding of performance enhancing drugs in order to keep up with the evolution of science.
And just as there are illegal performance enhancing drugs, there are legal performance enhancing drugs as well.
Creatine being one of the more popular legal substances on the market today which is regularly used by athletes in order to increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance according to an NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine medlineplus.gov report.
Of course, what constitutes a legal and illegal substance depends very much on what set of rules you’re operating under, though there does seem to be some overlap with a variety of major anti-doping agencies.
“Of eight runners,” Spiegel asks Angel Heredia, former coach to Olympian Marion Jones while hypothetically discussing the 2008 Beijing Olympics, there “will be eight doped,” responds Heredia as Spiegel is obligated to then point out that he cannot actually prove it. “Its undoubtedly like that,” responds Heredia in a November 8, 2008 Spiegel online interview titled, “The Dealer Olympias.” What this should mean to every combat sports fan reading is that many if not all of the elite athletes in sports today are using performance enhancing drugs to one degree or another.
Mexican boxing phenom Canelo Alvarez famously tested positive for clenbuterol in 2018 ahead of his highly anticipated rematch with Gennady Golovkin. “Clenbuterol has shown up in drug tests for many Mexican athletes in recent years because of meat contamination in the country. Alvarez also said meat contamination caused his positive test,” writes ESPN reporter Dan Rafael in his March 6, 2018 ESPN.com article, “Canelo Alvarez’s camp blames suspect meat for positive clenbuterol test.”
Searching for more information, it turns out an August 27, 1995 NCBI U.S. National Library of Medicine abstract titled “Clenbuterol: a substitute for anabolic steroids” states that, “Clenbuterol is a recently popular drug used by athletes in many sports for its purported anabolic effects and reduction of subcutaneous fat. It is a beta-2 (beta 2) agonist prescribed overseas as a bronchodilator, but not approved for use in this country. It is on the banned substance list of the United States Olympic Committee.”
In a March 14, 2019 LA Times article titled “Victor Conte, of BALCO fame, has found a new home in boxing” author Dylan Hernandez writes “Only in what Conte described as the “red-light district of sport” can a convicted steroid distributor be part of a high-profile event and do so in full view of the public.
“I was banned everywhere else,” Conte said with a chuckle. Now a vocal advocate for year-round drug testing, the self-educated former BALCO mastermind helped lightweight champion Mikey Garcia move up to the heavier welterweight division for his showdown with hard-punching Errol Spence.”
According to Hernandez, “Conte, 68, spent four months in prison in 2005 for his role in the BALCO scandal, which tarnished the reputations of high-profile athletes such as Barry Bonds and Marion Jones.” Only a fool would think the Mikey Garcia camp went to Conte for anything but performance enhancing drug use. “We’re clean,” Garcia told the LA Times. The author would go on to state that, “Garcia and his trainer-brother have talked openly about their work with Conte, insisting they have nothing to hide.”
And they may very well not have anything to hide, if you follow the rule book and avoid banned, prohibited substances. However, that does not mean Conte isn’t riding on the cutting edge of science and technology, obviously his milkshakes are still bringing all the boys to yard. So, it is highly doubtful the Garcia camp is going to Conte for fish oil and creatine supplements.
Undoubtably, there are going to be those who decry that science has given us an endless bounty of performance enhancing substances to make athletes bigger, stronger and faster yet we are purposely suppressing this fountain of knowledge and entertainment to our own expense.
The cold, hard reality is that the fairy tale world of fairness, sportsmanship and a level playing field have joined forces with a multi-million-dollar regulation industry to ensure that a cat and mouse like game continues in order to keep the fines and penalties associated with prohibited banned substances rolling in.
Mixed martial arts referee “Big” John McCarthy famously said this is the hurt business. And in the hurt business people get hurt. The amount of damage and sacrifice these athletes make is incalculable, their lives and future very much at stake and on the line as they train to chase a dream that has customarily chewed up and spit out many greats before them.
Modern medicine and science exist to help these athletes perform to the best of their abilities, yet there is an entire industry developed to ensure these athletes do not take advantage of every possible opportunity to protect themselves in the ring, cage or field of play. And its justified under a false pretense that the rest of the field is clean, while it’s a select few bad guys ruining the sport for everyone else. Meanwhile, there is an entire industry profiting from a fairy tale, false belief perpetuated by those raking in the dough as a result of continued, sustained regulation.
Though I am not for or against the use of performance enhancing drugs in combat sports, believing it to be a deeply complicated subject and one without a clear right and wrong answer, I am absolutely in favor of a fair, level playing field. I do not however subscribe to the naïve paradigm espoused by most casual observers that the baseline truth is that the vast majority of elite athletes in professional combat sports today are clean. I simply do not believe that to be case and neither should you.
While there may be some outliers, naturally gifted athletes with the physical attributes and athletic ability to compete at an elite level without the aid of performance enhancing drugs the continued and sustained number of athletes regularly popping for banned, prohibited substances suggests the use of performance enhancing drugs is endemic within combat sports due to the very nature of the sports themselves and a new paradigm of regulation and enforcement is needed in order to adjust to the realities of combat sporting competition.
The naïve, fairy tale ramblings of those who seem to concern themselves with matters in which know very little about need to be recognized for what they are and filtered through the lens of common sense that suggest combat sports are an entirely different animal to non-contact sports. And the realities associated their participation need to be taken into account when dealing with how these athletes treat their bodies and live their lives. Its time for a new paradigm shift in how performance enhancing drugs are regulated in combat sports.
By: Michael Kane
Anthony Joshua’s U.S debut against Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller has been thrown into doubt after Miller tested positive for a banned substance.
Matchroom Promotions supremo Eddie Hearn took to social media and announced that he had been informed by VADA of the positive test.
We have been informed by VADA that there has been an adverse finding in Jarrell Miller’s sample collected on March 20th, 2019. We are working with all relevant parties and will update with more details soon. AJ’s preparation continues for June 1st at MSG.
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) April 17, 2019
The test, taken on March 20th from a random urine sample, has come back positive with a substance called GW1516 which is a banned performance enhancing substance.
ESPN broke the news, with Miller’s co-promoter Dmitry Salita saying he awaits further information and Miller is still in training for his June 1st fight.
Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs) had been reported to earn around $4.5 million for his fight against champion Anthony Joshua, it would appear his chance has been blown with the NYSAC unlikely to sanction the bout at Madison Square Gardens. A negative B sample and supporting evidence would be required for any chance of the fight going ahead.
If the bout is cancelled, as seems likely, its unclear who will step in to face Joshua. According to Eddie Hearn, Joshua will be fighting on June 1st.
The obvious choice would have been Dillian Whyte however he has turned down an offer to face Joshua at Wembley Stadium in April, unhappy with the terms of the deal so it would appear unlikely he would travel to the U.S to take on Joshua.
Joshua’s IBF mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev, has recently been suspended by the Californian State Athletic Commision after kissing a female reporter after their post fight interview. His disciplinary is scheduled for May 18th.
A more likely candidate could be Michael Hunter (16-1, 11 KOs), the former Olylmpic champion has only lost once against Oleksandr Usyk as a cruiserweight. Since moving to heavyweight he has won the vacant WBA International Heavyweight Title by beating Alexander Ustinov by TKO last November.
Hunter seems to be interested.
Call me Eddie. https://t.co/1ck4qYJA19
— Michael Hunter ll (@MichaelHunterII) April 17, 2019
In a press conference on Monday afternoon, DAZN and Matchroom USA gathered across the pond in London to formally announce the United States debut of Anthony Joshua who will defend his WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO World Heavyweight titles against Brooklyn’s Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller at Madison Square Garden on Saturday June 1, live on DAZN.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson / Matchroom USA
Joseph Markowski – DAZN Executive Vice President, North America
“The level of interest in the fight is quite significant, and as Adam said, AJ and Jarrell spent four days in the U.S. last week speaking to press, and to be honest we could of spent four days doing more – The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, amongst Americas biggest media outlets couldn’t get enough of both fighters because like us, they believe we’re headed towards a truly special night on June 1 at Madison Square Garden. From our perspective it’s a true honor to be the host broadcaster of this event in New York, and very much like DAZN, AJ has ambitions to be a global force – to do so, occasionally you have to take your show on the road, and in this case over the pond. For the first time in his career, AJ will be fighting primetime in the United States, but it’s important to stress he’s not just fighting in America, he’s up against a dangerous opponent in Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller – a man with as much to say as anyone in the game, so it’s going to be a great night. With so many Brits making plans for June 1, we’re just very excited and looking forward to hosting all of you in New York on that night.”
“UK, what’s up? I’m in a better mood as you can see, I had a cup of tea. I’m just chilling, I already said what I had to say. You already know how I feel about AJ, you all know my back story, know where I come from, and know where we’re going. It’s a blessing to be here, and I just can’t wait for June 1.”
“We’re going to do the thing, man. I’ve been hearing from the fans themselves saying AJ is to posh – his nose is up here sometimes. They don’t give two licks about him right now, I’m for the underdogs. For all the underdogs out there, people telling them they’re not good enough, or people telling them they’re too fat, or whatever the discrete is they want discriminate against you, don’t listen to them, just keep pushing through because I’m a proving factor that hard work and dedication, and you know one or two cheeseburgers and a cup tea you can go real far. Let’s go to work, June 1, there will be fireworks, and there will be that saying that I love so much, ‘And the new,’ so tune-in June 1 on DAZN for $9.99, and watch me kick AJ’s butt.”
On what you think it takes to get it done:
“See that’s the problem, you think, I don’t think, I just get it done. That’s my mentality, is set is any task in front of me, I go balls to the walls, there’s no turning back, no if, and, or but’s about it. If I doubted myself one step of the way I would of never made it this far, and we going to continue to go forward and keep working hard, and the game plan is stop behind in seven round – point, blank, period.”
On what would it mean to you to win the title:
“It would mean a whole lot, but we’re going in to win the title, and the title is one step of what we want to accomplish in the future – change lives, change countries, do positive things in the community, and around the world, and be a real model, not a role model where you just put make-up on and pretend to be something I’m not. Yes, winning the title is the goal right now, but we know we’re looking to future to do amazing things around the world and be an ambassador of the human race and that’s what we’re going do.”
“New York was ten out of ten, no lie. There’s nothing like being on UK soil, got my head down, and get back to routine and regimen, and that’s how I like living my lifestyle, on a regimented format and focus on what’s ahead of me and that’s a Jarrell Miller. You know I’m not fighting any of his team members, or anyone that can speak for him, I’m fighting him. There won’t be many words said in the ring except for punches being exchanged. It’s the battle of the fittest, the battle of the smartest, and the last man will be standing.”
On different mentality last week:
“Oh I loved it, that’s what I live for every day. It’s just another opponent – you need a dancing partner right, and Jarrell is a good dancing partner. I’m only champion till June 1, and that’s when I step on the battlefield to defend my stripes, and June 2 will be irrelevant and I step forward to next task ahead of me. It was a good time in New York, Daniel Jacobs came out, looked after me, and met so many people, radio stations, and went out of New York for a week and had a real good time.”
On opportunities being handed to him:
“You know I come from a great family, my mother raised me well, my father raised me well, my aunts and uncles, my brothers and sisters, we all look after each other. My cousin was fighting at the time, I got banned from where I grew up, got in too much trouble, and moved out of the area. I sat down in boxing because I used to drive my cousin and I was making money, had the car back then, and I used to sit back and think that looks easy. He lent me 35 pounds, about 25 dollars, I went to buy boxing boots and he gave me some shorts. I started training, I got beaten up a bit, I beat a few people up, and from the point forward I realized do I want to smoke and drink? Face the verge of jail or do I want to focus on boxing? If you look at the state of my hands, this isn’t from boxing, this is from street fighting, so I realized I was getting in trouble for fighting in the streets and getting patted on the back for boxing, so I started boxing. Boxing to me isn’t about Jarrell Miller, it’s not about Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte, it’s about me – what does it make me, as a person. I changed my life style around, my family’s life style around and we’re impacting the community. All my friends over here, we have some great plans for the community, and that’s what impact means to me.
“This is what I know, this what I do, I don’t know no football, no rugby, no NFL, no basketball, no kickboxing. I like knocking people out, I like to beat them up. All this spirit this boy has in him, talking shit, I’m going to strip it from him. Every ounce of spirit he’s got, that’s what I do to people. I’m going to strip him of his soul in that ring. Talk about seven rounds, I will still be there fighting strong, if he’s still in there. Look at his face, I’m going to reconstruct his face on June 1, and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
For more information, fans can follow DAZN’s U.S. social channels: @DAZNUSA on Facebook, @DAZN_USA for Twitter, and DAZN_USA for Instagram.
Media gathered for the kick off press conference at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Tuesday February 19. DAZN and Matchroom USA formally announced the United States debut of Anthony Joshua to defend his WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO World Heavyweight titles against Brooklyn’s Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller at Madison Square Garden on Saturday June 1, live on DAZN.
“He punches like a fairy. Fury knocked him down seven times. He’s the softest puncher in the division. I am going to knock him the f*ck out. He is a drug abuser. He’s a kickboxer. I am going to knock him out. (Miller screams about Anthony’s mother.) Where’s your mother? I am paying her rent with this. She will come here and watch a real champion fight.
“Jarrell Miller is a little b*tch. I am going to throw this jab down his throat. For a guy that is 300 pounds, he punches like a fairy. June 1st – this is going to be a show. Come out and watch this one New York. I am not up here playing the gangster role. I really knock people out, look at his little hands. This is the first time he will sell out a show and it’s because of me. Of course he spends all day thinking about me and watching my fights, he has to – but it still won’t be good enough.”
“I’m home. I’m ready. You have no idea. I breathe, eat, sleep Anthony Joshua. I have a screen saver of Anthony Joshua. I wake up and think about Anthony Joshua. I see my mother go through some stuff that none of you would survive. I grew up in a third world country. I see my family starving with no shoes on their feet. This is bigger than a fight with Anthony Joshua. It is bigger than me. It is bigger than money.
“There were many years that I didn’t know what I was doing with my life. I’ve always had this anger and drive in my stomach though that would keep me going. I knew that I must be fighting for something. Man, God has a plan for everybody, remember that. It’s bigger than me though, and AJ is just in my way.
“Yeah, he won the Olympics. But that was in his city, they gave it to him. People call me the underdog but that’s alright. I want to be the underdog. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon.
“I want to thank New York City. Thank my mother and my wife. My sister and my trainers. We are from the dirt. From the gutter. We are from under the dirt but I work hard for this. He didn’t want this fight first. He wanted to fight Whyte. That’s fact.
“The more that you understand what boxing is. All that humble, that fake shit – he puts it on. Boxing is not a humble sport. I will leave it with this, we are all going to die one day. I have lost five people this year. That’s what keeps me humble.”
Joseph Markowski – DAZN Executive Vice President, North America
“Watching Anthony Joshua fight in the U.K. is one of the most spectacular experiences that I’ve encountered in boxing. The crowds, the fireworks and the noise are quite remarkable. But like DAZN, AJ has ambitions to be a global superstar and achieving that means taking your show on the road, across the Pond.
“For the first time in his career, Anthony Joshua will be fighting live and in primetime in the United States. And he’s not just fighting in America; he is going right to the hometown of a dangerous Top 10 heavyweight in Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller – a man with as much to say as almost anyone else in the boxing game.
“And for that reason, today is just the beginning of a fantastic fight promotion. The New York Times, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and many others have invited AJ and Jarrell to their offices this week to discuss the bout. It’s a compelling matchup that is already generating genuine buzz in the US.
“Moreover, it demonstrates DAZN’s continued commitment to our mission goal of delivering amazing value to fight fans. By the time of AJ-Miller, U.S. boxing fans will have already slogged through several expensive pay-per-views in 2019. More than $200 for three fight nights. For that type of money, you could have DAZN for two years and get every boxing and MMA fight on our platform.
“You can see the momentum we’re building in the names we are signing and the types of fights we are making: AJ’s debut in the U.S., Canelo Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs for Cinco de Mayo. And there is more to be announced very soon.
“To both fighters, thank you and good luck. And to everyone else, thank you for attending today – we look forward to seeing you on the 1st of June back here at MSG.”
Eddie Hearn – Matchroom Boxing Managing Director
“We have a seen a rise in the sport with DAZN. They signed Canelo Alvarez, delivered a huge fight between Canelo and Daniel Jacobs on May 4, and now DAZN will feature the biggest heavyweight fight by delivering Anthony Joshua to the United State to face Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller.”
For more information, fans can follow DAZN’s U.S. social channels: @DAZNUSA on Facebook, @DAZN_USA for Twitter, and DAZN_USA for Instagram.
By: Sean Crose
Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller decided sportsmanship wasn’t his thing at Tuesday’s presser to kick off his June 1st heavyweight title fight against Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden. No sooner were the two men face to face, than Brooklyn’s Miller gave the champion a hard shove. Joshua, for the moment at least, was cool as ice, as is generally his way. Overall, however, the presser was a mutually hostile affair which, while being good for business, also led some to feel there is genuine dislike between the two undefeated hitters. Joshua, clearly the more easy going of the two men, even got wrapped up in the moment.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
“I got a picture on my wall of Anthony Joshua,” said Miller. “I wake up in the morning with Anthony Joshua.” Miller’s talk got tough when it was Joshua’s turn to speak. Calling his opponent an “Uncle Tom,” a cheater, and someone who shouldn’t be considered a role model, the 23-0-1 New Yorker pulled out all the stops in order to get inside the British multi-titlist’s head. Joshua was not one to be outdone. “Miller’s a little bitch,” he said. “I am going to knock him the fuck out. He is a drug abuser…I am going to knock him out.”
A presser involving mother jokes – and this was just that kind of presser – often isn’t a serious affair. Both men had some serious things to say, however. Miller spoke of his tough upbringing, while Joshua let it be known that he would have his man finished by the fourth round. “I am going to throw this jab down his throat,” claimed the 22-0 Englishman. “This is going to be a show. Come out and watch this one, New York. I am not up here playing the gangster role. I really knock people out. Look at his little hands.” Joshua also brought up Miller’s drawing power. “This is the first time he will sell out a show,” he said of his opponent,” and it’s because of me. Of course, he spends all day thinking about me and watching my fights — he has to — but it still won’t be good enough.”
This will be the first time Joshua has fought in the United States. An enormous attraction in his homeland, Joshua – along with promoter Eddie Hearn – is hoping to extend this superstardom to the United States, where the heavyweight champion of the world hasn’t been a well known figure in years. The Joshua-Hearn battle will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service.
By: Sean Crose
“Anthony Joshua’s World Heavyweight title clash with Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden is already the hottest ticket in New York after becoming the highest grossing pre-sale for a boxing event at the famous arena.” So beamed Matchroom Sports in a Friday press release boasting of its pre-sales for the Anthony Joshua – Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller showdown on June first at Madison Square Garden. The pre-sale numbers are nothing but good news for heavyweight kingpin Joshua and Matchroom honcho Eddie Hearn, who is hoping to make Joshua as big a draw in the United States as he is in England, where the 22-0 multi title holder is able to literally sell out stadiums.
“We know that AJ is a huge box office hit in the UK,” said Hearn, “but to break the pre-sale record at the iconic Madison Square Garden is astounding…we are building a huge event on June 1 and we look forward to the all the build-up beginning with next Tuesdays press conference in New York.” Joshua’s American debut will put him up against the colorful Brooklynite Miller, who himself is undefeated, with a record of 23-0-1. The bout will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service.
Like Hearn, Joel Fisher, the executive vice president of MSG Marquee Events, was quick to express his pleasure with reported pre-sales. “We are thrilled with the early excitement for tickets,” he said, “Anthony Joshua versus Jarrell Miller will be an epic event at Madison Square Garden and we encourage fans to purchase tickets now because this fight will sell out.” Boxing’s rejuvenated heavyweight division hit American shores, where it once dominated, in a big way last December when Tyson Fury battled WBC champion Deontay Wilder to a controversial, yet highly entertaining draw. An announcement for a rematch, which is also whispered to go down in the United States, is said to be imminent.
Joshua-Miller will be the second major heavyweight title fight in America in roughly six months. For Joshua’s WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO belts will be on the line when he squares off against Miller in the late spring. The winner of the match will surely be called on to face the victor of the presumed Wilder-Fury rematch in order to bring some much needed clarity to the divided heavyweight division. Although Joshua will presumably be the favorite leading up the Miller bout, Miller, the hard punching former kickboxing star, brings big power…and perhaps an underrated skill set of his own. What’s more, Miller is in possession of a showy, and outspoken personality, something that will surely be used as a selling point.
Heavyweight boxing’s biggest star Anthony Joshua OBE will defend his WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO World titles against Jarrell Miller in his long-awaited U.S. debut at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, June 1, live on DAZN in the U.S. and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs), defended his World titles with a devastating knockout of dangerous Russian Alexander Povetkin last time out at Wembley Stadium in September in what was the Olympic Champion’s fourth straight stadium fight in front of over 80,000 fans.
It was a crushing return to the scene of his historical triumph over legendary Champion Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017, where he produced the performance of a lifetime to claim the WBA crown in an unforgettable battle in front of a post war record crowd of 90,000 at England’s National Stadium.
The British sensation blasted Povetkin to the canvas with a brutal assault in the seventh round and then floored the WBA mandatory challenger again to signal a sudden and dramatic ending to his 22nd professional victory in his home city.
And now sport’s biggest name will follow in the footsteps of Heavyweight greats such as Joe Louis, Joe Frazier, Evander Holyfield and Muhammad Ali when he crosses the Atlantic to silence Brooklyn’s brash ‘Big Baby’ Miller at ‘The Mecca of Boxing’.
“June 1st I am heading to The Big Apple and I plan to embrace the culture and leave with an appetite for more,” said Joshua. “I will be fighting Jarrell Miller at the legendary Madison Square Garden. It has been an honour and a blessing to fight at some of the best venues in the World at home in the UK, not least Wembley Stadium, but the time has come to head across the Atlantic and defend my Heavyweight titles in the USA. I am looking forward to taking on another challenge with a good boxer & a brilliant talker, it will be an exciting fight, I will leave nothing to chance and plan on dismantling Miller in style to make my mark.”
Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs), has been calling for a British scalp ever since he went face-to-face with Joshua during a heated exchange at the launch of DAZN’s streaming service in the U.S. in July last year, and the undefeated 300lbs giant is promising to turn AJ’s American dream into a living nightmare as he looks to announce himself on the biggest stage of all.
Miller earned his shot at Joshua with successive wins over former World title challengers Gerald Washington, Mariusz Wach, Johann Duhaupas and Tomasz Adamek, crushing the latter inside two rounds on his Matchroom Boxing USA debut at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago in October.
He followed this up with another big stoppage win, this time steamrolling Bogdan Dinu in four rounds to claim the interim NABA Heavyweight title at the Kansas Star Arena, and now Miller returns to his home city to fulfil a lifelong dream of fighting for the World Heavyweight crown.
“AJ is making a huge mistake coming over here to fight me in my own backyard,” said Miller. “He wants to announce himself on the American stage but all he’s doing is delivering me those belts by hand. Its dog eat dog in the ring and this dog has got a bigger bite, he’ll be leaving New York empty-handed. This is the fight that I’ve been chasing all my life and on June 1 I’m going to achieve the thing I was born to do and win the Heavyweight Championship of the World. That punk AJ is standing in the way of my dreams and on June 1 he’s getting run the hell over.”
“It’s been an eventful few months but I’m delighted to finally announce that Anthony Joshua will make his American debut at the iconic Madison Square Garden on June 1,” said Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing Managing Director. “AJ has created an incredible ‘Lion’s Den’ atmosphere in the UK and we plan to bring that energy to New York on a card that will be stacked with British vs. American talent. When you look at the Heavyweight greats that have graced the renowned ‘Mecca of Boxing’ the names of Ali, Frazier, Marciano and Tyson stand firm and June 1will be a moment when the World will witness AJ’s turn.
“Jarrell Miller is someone I know well having been involved in his last 4 fights in America. I know how much he wants this fight and I know the belief that him and his team have in beating AJ. He is a mountain of a man with an incredible work rate and he will get the chance to challenge for 4 World Heavyweight belts in his backyard this summer. They went to head to head for all the wrong reasons last summer and next week they will do it again as we get ready for the big build up for a momentous moment on June 1st at MSG.”
“Anthony Joshua is the number one Heavyweight in the World and DAZN is excited to deliver the British star’s much-anticipated U.S. debut at the iconic Madison Square Garden,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN Executive Vice President, North America. “In New York awaits a hometown fighter in Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller who has been quite vocal about his plans to spoil Joshua’s stateside arrival. He poses a real threat to dethrone the Heavyweight king in what will undoubtedly be a major international attraction and we are eager to see what will unfold June 1 on DAZN.”
“A new chapter for our brilliant World King Anthony Joshua as he looks to light up America for the first time against New York’s brash, big hitting Jarrell Miller,” said Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing. “We are delighted to be showing this massive occasion on Sky Sports Box Office and our team will provide every step of an enticing build up between these unbeaten Heavyweights. This sizzling Summer showdown reminds me of when Prince Naseem Hamed conquered Manhattan amidst that thrilling seven knockdown war with Kevin Kelley. Now AJ hits NY and the global adventure begins!”
“The World Heavyweight Championship at Madison Square Garden is unlike any setting in the World and we couldn’t be more thrilled to host Anthony Joshua and Jarrell Miller,” said Joel Fisher, Executive Vice President, MSG Marquee Events. “The legacy of Heavyweights at ‘The Mecca of Boxing’ that began with the likes of John L. Sullivan, Gene Tunney, ‘Jersey’ Joe Wolcott, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Joe Louis, Evander Holyfield, Wladimir Klitschko and Lennox Lewis will continue when Joshua and Miller step into the famed Garden ring in front of a packed house on June 1.”
“On June 1 Brooklyn’s Jarrell Miller will fight in the World’s greatest city for boxing’s greatest title — the Heavyweight Championship of the World — on boxing’s biggest stage — ‘The Mecca of Boxing’ Madison Square Garden,” said Dmitriy Salita of Salita Promotions. “It is a dream come true for Jarrell, but it is exactly what we envisioned and what I promised him when I began working with Jarrell in his second professional fight. He is on the verge of making history and I am proud to have been there since the beginning. On June 1 Jarrell follow in the footsteps of Brooklyn Heavyweight greats Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe to bring the Heavyweight World title back to its rightful home NY.”
“It is incredible to be a co-promoter of Jarrell Miller’s World title challenge against Anthony Joshua on June 1st streamed live on DAZN,” said Greg Cohen of Greg Cohen Promotions. “The fact that this event is taking place at Madison Square Garden makes it extra special as it’s a home game for Team Miller. I can’t wait to hear Michael Buffer announce, “And the NEW…!”
By: Sean Crose
Brandon Rios, 34-4-1, faced the 27-6-3 Ramon Alvarez at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas on Saturday night as part of a card broadcast live by the DAZN streaming service. Rios, who has fought several great bouts against Mike Alvarado in a career that has featured fights with major opponents such as Manny Pacquiao, Tim Bradley, and Danny Garcia, looked less than impressive in the first round against the older brother of the famous Canelo Alvarez. The man was able to assert himself however, and engage in a toe to toe battle that ended up going over eight rounds. Both men traded bombs and took some incredible shots. In the end, however, it was the veteran Rios who was able to carry the day, stopping his man in the 9th round.
Photo Credit: DAZN Boxing Twitter Account
After local 5-0 Nico Hernandez won a dominant victory over Josue Morales, 8-7-3, middleweight titlist Claressa Shields faced off against Scotland’s 5-2 Hannah Rankin. Rankin was certainly game, but Shields essentially dominated the bout. Although not a power puncher, Shields had the strength and skill set to get the best of her opponent regularly throughout the bout. Rankin came to Kansas to win and she did well when she was able to get on the inside. Shields, however, was able to maintain range and dominance throughout the match. The American star proved capable enough to walk out of the ring with a unanimous decision victory.
It was time for the main event. Brooklyn’s charismatic Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller stepped into the ring with a bright future before him. The 22-0-1 American also had an undefeated foe before him. Bogdan Dinu, an 18-0 Romanian policeman, had a history of high end sparring and an appreciation for a golden opportunity in the fight game. All he had to do was get past Miller. That, however would be no easy task.
The first round saw Dinu look perhaps surprisingly good. The man worked the distance well, even though Miller was able to land thudding shots to the body. Dinu continued to look impressive in the second thanks to impressive footwork and an effective jab. Miller looked quite strong in the 3d by virtue of a thunderous body attack. A slightly low blow sent Dinu to the mat, though it was not ruled a knockdown. A body-head combination sent Dinu down in the fourth. Dinu got up, but Miller sent him right back down. Dinu was subsequently unable to beat the count. Miller stepped out of the ring with an impressive, albeit expected, win. By fighting – and winning – regularly, Miller is situating himself for an inevitable world title shot.