Disclosure: I am rooting for heavyweight hopeful Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller to get it done July 29, at Barclays Center, against Gerald Washington.
Not because I have anything against Washington, no way.
And not because I saw Miller on the way up, on humble club shows put together by promoter Dmitriy Salita, the “Brooklyn Brawl” shows which are sadly dissipating memories because insurance is so expensive and makes putting on NY club shows cost prohibitive.
But because the guy is the type of fighter in the right division who can elevate himself to the place where he is a sensation to sports fans, not just boxing rooters.
Yes, it is a heavy lift, a hard climb. Odds aren’t with him, I guess you could argue, if you want to take the cynics viewpoint. And, let us put it out there, so many in the Twittersphere, the punditocracy, have age-hardened viewpoints which see them seeing through a jaded lens.
Too hefty, I’ve heard on the way up, from doubters. Miller needs to get to 240, then we can talk, naysayers weighed in…even though the big lad holds his weigh exceedingly well, hasn’t gassed out as yet, moves good for a jumbo specimen and hello…George Foreman wasn’t svelte in his second phase.
OK, OK, I hear ya…
There is but one George Foreman.
But if Miller, age 28, can get past Washington On July 29, he is in a place where he can snag a title shot, and then it’s all up to him. If his in-ring exploits can match his mouth, really, truly, you could see something happen in this nation that hasn’t happened in a long spell. We could get a heavyweight champion from these shores who can crack and talk smack.
Now, if you want to get a gander at this contender, see what I’m fussin’ about, you will have to buy a ticket to the July 29 card at Barclays Center. The PBC event, promoted by Lou DiBella, is topped by a showdown between the talented merchant of chaos Adrien Broner, and soft spoken hammerer Mikey Garcia. Garcia comes up from 135 to see if his power holds at 140.
Showtime will show that anticipated faceoff, as well as the Jermall Charlo (25-0, 19 KOs) versus Jorge Heiland (29-4-2, 16 KOs) 12-round eliminator to become the mandatory challenger for the WBC 160-pound championship.
The 6-4, 290 pound Miller’s fight against the 18-1 Washington, a 6-6 ex footballer, will not be shown in its entirety on Showtime. So, again, hit the arena if you want to get a lengthy look at the two behemoths rumbling…
Showtime executive in communications Chris Deblasio explained the circumstances of the Miller fight, and why they will show bits of it. “Due to the arena’s busy schedule that week, the production teams will be working as efficiently as possible to be ready for the live event and the 9pm start of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast. We expect to show highlights of the heavyweight bout during our live doubleheader. Washington vs. Miller fits perfectly into what has shaped up to be another great fight card in Brooklyn.”
So there you go…
I can guarantee this. Miller wins July 29 and it pretty much goes without saying that his next scrap will be a featured attraction. Because there is no substitute of comparable allure for a talented and charismatic heavyweight born and bred in this complex cauldron that is America. I cannot say that “Big Baby” is THAT GUY…but I hope he is, because his success could go far in helping the sport transition successfully in the post Mayweather, post Pacquiao era.