IT’S been two months since Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller failed three separate drug tests and was removed from a scheduled shot at Anthony Joshua on June 1 in New York. And what a difference two months makes. Since then, Andy Ruiz Jr stepped in to take Miller’s place, stop Joshua in seven rounds and rip away the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles in stunning scenes inside Madison Square Garden. A change of guard, and, it seems, a change of heart from Miller whose previous admissions of guilt have been replaced by excuses for the cocktail of performance enhancing drugs that were found in his blood. Boxing News caught up with the 30-year-old in Las Vegas, ahead of Tyson Fury’s win over Tom Schwarz.
What’s next for you, having missed out on challenging Anthony Joshua?
The suspension will be up September 19. We’re in the gym now, in cruise control, and will be in the gym hard-bodied by the end of July, looking to get a fight, looking to sign with another promoter. A promoter always has adversity when it comes to fighters; it’s how you treat them, talk to them, do things in the media. There were people in my team who didn’t handle my situation well, which taught me a lot about myself, my circle, and the people I work with.
It’s a learning experience – it’s opening up some new doors, believe it or not. It won’t be $7million doors right away, but it taught me something about myself and dealing with certain situations. Watch this time around – it’s going to be a lot different.
Does that mean you will no longer be promoted by Dmitry Salita?
We’re in talks right now. We’re working on some big things. We’re looking at probably October-to-December for my next fight. We don’t know about the type of opponent yet. We’ve got four or five promoters [interested in recruiting me]. I’m not the first to deal with this kind of situation and I’m one of the top two American heavyweights; I generate a lot of energy. It’s how you all deal with it; how your promoters, managers, team deal with it; how you can change the story in your favour. I was man enough to say ‘Listen, I messed up on my part’ but it wasn’t what they made it seem it was. I was dealing with an injury.
Are you guilty of cheating?
Intentionally? Hell no. Nothing was intentional, it was taken for an injury and injury prevention and I didn’t do my due diligence. It wasn’t for performance-enhancement. I didn’t take surgery on my elbow to take the [Joshua] fight. It was through a doctor it was taken, but I take responsibility because I allowed it to happen. I’m not putting the blame on anybody – it’s Big Baby’s fault, and I’ll deal with it like a man, suck it up and move on to the next.
It was my left elbow – a slight tear in the elbow, and bone and ligament problems and bone chips. I had it for over a year – it was something I had to do for the fight. I did it before but this was a new treatment. I was so shocked my heart dropped through my nuts. It hurt, it hurt.
Just how hurt were you?
Man, I cried, I cried a load of tears, man. You work so hard to do these kinds of things and for it to happen in that way hurts me. It takes a lot out you. You’ve got to start from ground zero a little bit, and rebuild yourself in some ways and your image in people’s eyes. My main thing is I’m always real – if you don’t like someone who’s real you can kiss my ass. As time goes on, and I do more interviews, and my story gets out, people will start to get it, plain and simple.
Is there a concern your big opportunity has been and gone?
No. I’m still a bad mother**ker. The main thing is dealing with it the right way, coming back the right way, and showing the fans and organisations it was a freak. I’ll be back a lot sooner than people think.
I was training in Fort Lauderdale. I reflected on what happened and how we could fix it and make sure it never happened again. Who in my team needs to be removed and who in my team needs to be added to help things go more smoothly, to get proper council? It won’t be a bigger team, but a better team.
Where did you watch Joshua-Andy Ruiz Jr?
My coach’s daughter’s wedding was the same day, so he was going to go to the wedding, come back for the fight, and go back to the reception, so I was actually with him there. We were at the reception sitting down at the table and I was like ‘If Andy Ruiz did that in seven rounds, Lord have mercy’. It was a hard night, because it could have been me.
Is Joshua overrated, or did he get complacent?
Very overrated. Very. Very. I always knew Ruiz could fight. He’s a big dude who’s half-fast and throws combinations. You can’t throw jab-jab-right hand and try to hold a guy’s head and throw uppercuts. The best he fought was Wladimir Klitschko, and Wladimir was old and a little dried up. But he fought someone who’s young, hungry and threw combinations, and can slip some shots.
I thought Joshua would win because he was the favourite, but I knew he was going to get touched up. I didn’t think he was going to lose the way he did, but either way, man, Andy did it. Andy was going to help me train for AJ out in Florida. We speak all the time. He’s living the life right now. It’s love, man. We’re all fighters – everybody has their day. My day came, we missed it, but we’ll get it back. Am I jealous? No. It’s all love because we come from similar backgrounds. He’s from Mexico and I’m from Belize so we’re cousins. It ain’t nothing but love, man.
I don’t know what Joshua’s going to do but he better be ready. Listen, his ego hurts right now; he’s got five or six months to get ready. I know he’s not going to fight in America, that’s for sure. I didn’t feel sorry for him.
American fans are a lot more forgiving than UK fans. America will be like ‘Hey, Baby, you messed up? Man, get back to work and fix it’. The UK is ‘Oh my God, he f**ked up, he should be banned forever’. It’s different. So he [Joshua] should come to America [for the rematch with Ruiz] – we’ll forgive that you got your ass kicked but you’ve got to come over here and prove yourself. You can’t go running back to the UK with your tail between your legs. You can’t have all the advantages in your favour [all of the time].