One of the great things about boxing is that it is a weight class sport. Great athletes have the opportunity to compete and win glory, regardless of size. There are few fights I am looking forward to more this fall than Roman Gonzalez vs. Carlos Cuadras at 115 pounds. The most consistently exciting fighters in the sport campaign from between 140 and 175 pounds.
But it has always been the big men who have done the most to push the Sweet Science into the spotlight. And even hardcore fans, who spend time searching Youtube for videos of straw and light flyweight bouts, inevitably get drawn in by the prospect of a new king in the heavyweight division.
This is particularly the case for fans my age. I started paying attention to the sport when the Greatest, Muhammad Ali, was winding down his career. I developed into a serious sports and boxing fan during the era of Larry Holmes. I started high school at around the time Mike Tyson was exploding onto the scene.
I follow the sport across the weight classes, but I’m still always hungry for the return of a true start at heavyweight.
Brooklyn’s Jarrell Miller might not ever be that guy. But he at least looks like he is shaping up to be a guy who might factor into some exciting moments for the heavyweight division. He’s a big, colorful slugger, now 17-0-1 with 15 KOs. Friday night he returns to action in Rochester, New York, against 18-5-1 Fred Kassi.
So far Jarrell Miller’s best wins have come against journeymen like Damon McCreary, Donavan Dennis and Nick Guivas. Kassi could be viewed as a modest step up, at best. At 36, he’s a veteran with experience, but he’s made a career of being a guy who gets beat but fringe contenders. He was knocked out by Amir Mansour in November 2014. He lost by unanimous decision to Dominic Breazeale in 2015 and technical decision to Hugie Fury earlier this year. He drew with Chris Arreola in 2015, but that probably says more about where Arreola is at this point than it does about Kassi.
So this is a fight that should give Jarrell Miller the chance to look good, in front of a national television audience. I’ll be watching to see what he comes in at in terms of weight. More often than not, he’s come in at about 275-280 pounds, but at 6’4″, he’s probably better suited at 255 or so.