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Jarrell Miller must face a real ban

Jarrell Miller
Matchroom Boxing
Drug cheat Jarrell Miller should not be allowed to fight again and neither should Oscar De La Hoya who is plotting a comeback at the age of 47, writes George Gigney

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BAN Jarrell Miller for life – it’s as simple as that. Or… is it? The 300lb heavyweight has once again tested positive for a banned substance, a report from The Athletic revealed. He was scheduled to fight on July 9, before he reportedly popped for GW1516, a substance that modifies how the body metabolises fat, which Miller also tested positive for prior to his aborted fight with Anthony Joshua last year. Back then he avoided any ban as he didn’t hold a licence with any athletic state commission in the US, however this time he is licensed by Nevada, who have provisionally suspended him according to Boxing Scene.

Obviously, they have to do their due diligence and investigate fully, but should it transpire that he did in fact test positive for a banned substance then the commission should ban him from fighting in Nevada for life. Therein lies the problem – Miller and his travelling pharmacy could just stumble into another state and fight there.

This is usually where arguments for a worldwide, overarching governing body for boxing come in, but we don’t have one and we likely never will. Theoretically the best we can hope for is Miller being completely ostracised if it’s confirmed he has once again ingested banned substances.

However, that would require all athletic commissions, sanctioning bodies and even promoters taking the same stance – to never work with ‘Big Baby’ again; commissions refuse to licence him, sanctioning bodies refuse to rank him and promoters refuse to give him fights. That includes Top Rank, who still promote Miller after signing him last year AFTER his failed tests, for reasons I’ll never understand.

Former lightweight champion Anthony Crolla suggested to TalkSPORT that Miller face criminal charges for his actions. I’m not legally savvy enough to know if there’s actually grounds for that, but it’s not the worst idea I’ve heard.

Miller himself has not responded publicly to the news, but his co-promoter, Dmitriy Salita, released a statement to Sky Sports: “I am disappointed. I was looking forward to July 9th and Jarrell’s return to the ring. This news is shocking to me as well.

“Hopefully soon we will find out more facts. As Bob Arum said, we’re all going to be guided by the decision of the Nevada Athletic Commission.”

Jarrell Miller

Sergio Martinez confirmed that, at the age of 45, he will return to the ring in August. He hasn’t fought since Miguel Cotto wrecked him in 2014 and long-term knee injuries got the better of him.

I hope he somehow decides, like Nigel Benn did last year,  to stay away from the ring.

The Asian Boxing Council, alongside the WBC, announced that Wanheng Menayothin is actually not retiring, and will defend his strawweight title sometime this year. Menayothin had apparently hung up the gloves after reaching 54-0 as a pro, but that decisions has been reversed, perhaps after all the attention he received after so many people realised he had surpassed Floyd Mayweather’s famous 50-0 record.

The clear difference is that while Mayweather was beating future Hall of Famers, Menayothin’s ledger is predominantly made up of unheralded opposition, none of which he faced outside of is native Thailand.

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Oscar, don’t do it. Oscar De La Hoya, speaking to The Ring Magazine’s YouTube channel, stated he is seriously considering a comeback at the age of 47. He said he’s intending to see what happens with Mike Tyson’s proposed return first, but wants a “real fight” against a top guy at super-welter/middleweight.

Tyson – who may not actually return to professional boxing – has opened the floodgates to retired legends looking to cash in, having seen the headlines Tyson made worldwide with his own intentions of a comeback. Stay retired, folks.

Commenting on the ongoing disagreements with his charge Ryan Garcia, De La Hoya said “Advice [he received] was obviously not good. We’ll see when he fights again, we just don’t know at this point.”

He then quickly turned the focus to welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz Jnr, who he labelled as Golden Boy’s “next world champion.” Reading between the not-so-subtle lines, De La Hoya may have already pivoted from Garcia to Ortiz who, admittedly, looks to have a higher ceiling in terms of in-ring success, though Garcia is certainly on the path to stardom.

Hearn, after the Matchroom Fight Camp announcement, told SiriusXM than Katie Taylor could still fight Amanda Serrano, as the deal is still in place. He also cleared up reports that Serrano’s purse for the fight was slashed in half because of the coronavirus pandemic, claiming that she will still receive the whole thing.

He later told IFL TV that Serrano’s team were making negotiations “difficult” and that he’s already reached out to Delfine Persoon for a rematch with Taylor instead. As I wrote last week, it would be a genuine shame to lose Taylor-Serrano, but a Taylor-Persoon rematch is an excellent replacement. Their first encounter was brutal and bitterly close; there’s unfinished business there.

Hearn also revealed that Joshua’s mandated clash with Kubrat Pulev could take place at the O2 Arena in London in November. In normal circumstances the fight would fill a stadium, but that will not be an option anytime soon, until a COVID-19 vaccine is created and rolled out.

The thinking appears to be that, come November, live sporting events will be able to have some sort of crowd in attendance, as long as social distancing measures are in place.

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