Far from the days when heavyweight was considered the golden division of boxing, there exists a vacancy for the next superstar American in the weight class.
Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, who will face Mariusz Wach in Saturday’s co-main event at Nassau Coliseum, aims to fill the void and understands the importance of exposure.
“It’s open. There’s no single guy that’s known for being the best,” Miller, a native of Bed-Stuy, told amNewYork. “The only one that’s getting buzz is [Anthony Joshua] because boxing is popular in England and in America we have so many sports, but once the world gets a taste of me, that’s it.”
Joshua, the Briton who holds the WBA (Super), IBF and IBO heavyweight titles, successfully defended his crowns last month. Deontay Wilder, of Alabama, retained the WBC heavyweight championship at Barclays Center on Saturday but still lacks mainstream success. A unification bout between the two is no sure thing, but Miller (19-0-1, 17 KOs) said he has “no problem” fighting across the pond in Joshua’s backyard.
The 29-year-old “Big Baby” gained notoriety while competing as both a boxer and kickboxer. Always known for a big persona and attractive fighting style, he reached the 2007 New York Golden Gloves finals and to competed in K-1, the world’s premier professional kickboxing organization at the time.
In late 2014, when it came to his professional boxing career, Miller decided he was all in with the sweet science.
“I had my last bad decision in kickboxing, in a fight that I and many people thought I won,” Miller said. “The pay wasn’t great, and I thought I could do a lot better in boxing, so I started focusing and honing my skills.”
On Long Island this weekend, at an event headlined by former WBA middleweight champ and fellow Brooklynite Daniel Jacobs, Miller aims to please in his HBO debut. He doesn’t expect Poland native Wach (33-2, 17 KOs) to go the distance against him.
“About an eighth or ninth round stoppage,” Miller said. “I have all confidence in myself for the mainstream audience. I want to be the undisputed heavyweight champion, and I want all the belts.”