By Jake Donovan
Jarrell Miller had lost just once between his separate pro careers as a boxer and kickboxer. That one defeat motivated the Brooklynite to walk through the doors of his old profession one last time, as he was granted an opportunity to accept a late-replacement assignment against the one fighter who beated him.
For the second time in as many tries, Mirko 'CroCop' Filipovic was able to hang a loss on Miller, scoring a three-round decision Saturday evening in the main event of GLORY 17 in Los Angeles, California.
Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 (twice) in the heavyweight affair, which aired live on SPIKE TV.
Miller was perfectly content with leaving kickboxing in the rearview mirror when signing with Dmitry Salita's Star of David Boxing promotional company earlier this year. His last fight in that other world was a controversial decision loss to Flilpovic last March in Croatia, suffering his first loss after having won 21 straight as a kickboxer and his first fights as a pro boxer by that point.
An opportunity arose for a rematch when Filipovic's original opponent, Sergey Kharitonov withdrew due to injury. Miller was coming off of a 2nd round knockout this past May in Brooklyn - his debut with Salita's company - and believed he was still in well enough fighting shape to agree to fill in on short notice, with the condition that his appearance in GLORY 17 was a one-time return to kickboxing.
The heavyweight held his own over the course of the three-round affair, though perhaps in part to the 40 lb. weight advantage he enjoyed. Miller came in at a career heaviest 272 lb., but carried it well (even if fleshy) as he was relatively light on his feet against the smaller and quicker Filipovic.
Timing was an issue for the full-time boxer, as Filipovic landed telling kicks in each of the three rounds. Miller was able to land in succession, but his body work was disrupted by Filipovic's constant flopping, insisting the kicks were low and apparently selling it well as the referee granted a time-out in rounds two and three.
By fight's close, Miller believed his workrate was enough to have gained revenge. The judges disagreed, scoring in favor of Filipovic, giving the mixed martial arts legend his first victory in the GLORY circuit.
Miller is now 21-2 (9KO), in his last ever appearance as a kickboxer. The heavyweight prospect plans to return to boxing full-time, where he currenty sports a record of 9-0-1 (9KO).
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox