Let’s take a look at the positive regarding unbeaten heavyweight Jarrell Miller remaining undefeated in his HBO debut; Miller halting big and durable Pole Mariusz Wach in the ninth-round:
Miller, AKA “Big Baby” stopped Wach quicker than anyone else has been able to, Wladimir Klitschko (who never actually halted “The Viking” at all) and Alexander Povetkin included. Miller took a few decent shots with zero effect, and Miller (who says he fought with an injured elbow) fought well on the inside.
Now the negative from his performance in New York:
Miller never got the kind of lights-out KO he and his new promoter (or co-promoter) Eddie Hearn wanted, he looked sluggish at times and he wasn’t too hard to hit – had Wach had more pop, and ambition, there might have been a problem.
Overall rating: C+
Miller, who told iFL TV how he will get his troublesome elbow checked out, added how he will “fine-tune things” and get ready for his next fight. Before last night’s win, a ninth-round TKO, Miller was mentioned as a possible spring challenger for WBA and IBF champ Anthony Joshua. Did Miller pass the audition for this fight with the victory over Wach? Most people will likely respond with a firm “no” to such a question, insisting how the Brooklyn warrior needs more work, more tests before being able to get in there with a real chance of winning any world title.
But at the same time, it’s tough to be too hard on Miller; as he said himself “nobody looks good against Wach.” If a Joshua-Deontay Wilder fight deal cannot be made, or one between AJ and WBO champ Joseph Parker, then maybe Miller will indeed wind up getting a shot at Joshua next year; maybe after one more fight in-between.
Miller can certainly fight, and we all know he can sell a fight. And if Miller, 20-0-1(18) isn’t yet the finished article, the same could be said of Joshua, 20-0(20) – even if the Londoner has looked far more impressive than Miller has, and against much better opposition. AJ has also shown more power, more explosiveness than has Miller, who has looked more of a wear ’em down type fighter rather than a stone cold KO artist.
But as Hearn has said before, AJ has to keep busy and fight names. If it’s neither Wilder nor Parker next, don’t be too shocked if Miller gets the call. And there would be plenty of people willing to pay to tune in to watch the fight. As a US debut for AJ, this one would actually make a lot of sense.
(Photo credit Marilyn Paulino, Matchroom, Salita Promotions)