JARRELL ‘Big Baby’ Miller has one of those fights nobody really wants to talk about on Saturday night (October 6) in Chicago. It’s the sort of fight most assume he will win – taking his pro record to 22-0-1 – and some have even gone so far as to start mapping out his next one and the one after that.
The reason for this, of course, is that Tomasz Adamek, a former light-heavyweight champion, is significantly smaller than the Brooklyn heavyweight and is now 41 years of age. A mismatch on paper, it’s for this reason Dimitry Salita, Miller’s co-promoter, is already eyeing bigger and better fights in the future.
“He is the (WBA) mandatory, one hundred percent,” Salita told Sky Sports, thus opening the door to a Miller title shot.
“It’s up to the WBA to designate a fighter who he will fight for the WBA ‘regular’ title but we anticipate it being Fres Oquendo.
“It’s huge that Jarrell will have a chance to fight for the world title. Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe are great champions from Brooklyn, so it will be a huge day for boxing when a fighter with the skills and personality of Jarrell Miller brings a world title back to New York City. We hope (to fight for the WBA ‘regular’ title) in December.”
Manuel Charr, the previous WBA ‘regular’ champion, was scheduled for a September defence against Fres Oquendo, but failed a pre-fight drug test and all hell broke loose. The fight was cancelled and Oquendo, inactive since 2014, demanded to be crowned champion. Nobody took the claim seriously. Instead, the belt, that meaningless WBA bauble, is currently vacant.
Oquendo wants it so badly he’s happy to wait (and keep waiting) for it, while Miller, should he do what everybody expects him to do against Adamek, might end up being the man in the opposite corner. Salita added: “Jarrell is focused on making a statement and ending this (Adamek) fight early. He wants to get rid of this guy.”
Like the tortoise and the hare, Oquendo waits and Miller rushes. In December, there’s every chance they meet.
Although Adonis Stevenson hasn’t managed two fights in a calendar year since 2015, that’s all about to change.
Six months after drawing with Badou Jack in Toronto, the WBC world light-heavyweight champion will defend his belt against mandatory challenger Oleksandr ‘The Nail’ Gvozdyk at the Videotron Center in Quebec City on December 1.
“I am very proud to be back in Quebec City for this mandatory title defence and offer the opportunity to American viewers and on the international scene to rediscover the beauties of Quebec City as well as the hospitality and the Latin passion of the Quebec boxing fans,” Stevenson, 29-1-1 (24), said.
“I know many believe December would be the end of my reign against this young undefeated Olympic medallist. The message I am prepared to send with this fight is: I am still the number one light-heavyweight and I still have several chapters to add to my journey as world champion. December 1st at the Videotron Center is a personal invitation to Quebec fans. You will not be let down. I will win by KO!”
Born in Ukraine but based in Oxnard, California, Gvozdyk is undefeated in 15 pro fights and was last seen outpointing Mehdi Amar to take the WBC interim title at Madison Square Garden. Before that, he secured nine inside distance wins in a row, including stoppages of Isaac Chilemba (broken hand) and Nadjib Mohammedi (TKO 2), and has been moved steadily since making his pro debut in 2014. Now 31, he seems ready to take his chance.
“I am one of the best boxers in the light heavyweight division and the time has come for me to prove it to the rest of you,” Gvozdyk, 15-0 (12), said. “The WBC gave me this opportunity and I am thankful for it. Adonis has been in this position too long. My time is now!”