For boxing to truly flourish, the heavyweight division must be compelling. It’s the larger-than-life heavyweights who draw in the casual fans and put the Sweet Science in the spotlight.
For that situation to exist, the division needs not just transcendent stars but also supporting players. So a fighter like Jarrell Miller is good for the sport, even if he never manages to reign as world champion.
I’m sure if you asked “Big Baby” he would tell you that the top of the mountain is his ultimate destination. I’m not ready to make that kind of prediction for him. He has shown little regard for managing his weight and his defense looks shoddy. Still, he is a gigantic human being with a personality to match. The Brooklyn native has box office potential.
And last Saturday night on Long Island, Miller demonstrated that he is a legitimate contender, by stopping former world-title challenger Mariusz Wach in Round 9. The experienced Polish contender is a rare heavyweight who can match Miller’s size. Wach lost by unanimous decision to Wladimir Klitschko in 2012 and was stopped in Round 12 by Alexander Povetkin in 2015. But he has defeated a string of solid journeymen and second-tier contender.
Miller showed a good chin and put together some crisp combinations against Wach. It’s not like Miller wowed anybody with this performance. But he did what he needed to do to advance his record.
This card was promoted by Eddie Hearn, who also handles Anthony Joshua. So there is a good chance we might see Miller vs. Joshua in early 2018. I think the British gold medalist would knock Miller out. But it could be an intriguing bout, and nice build up to a showdown between Joshua and Deontay Wilder for later in the year.