NEW YORK—The redemption tour has begun for Jarrell Miller.
A surprise appearance was made by the unbeaten Brooklyn-bred heavyweight at Friday’s show at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater, topped by Devin Haney’s interim lightweight title-winning stoppage over Russia’s Zaur Abdullaev. Miller (23-0-1, 20KOs) was on hand for the bout as well as in support of several local boxers on the undercard, including the featherweight title fight between fellow Brooklynites Amanda Serrano and Heather Hardy.
An additional motivating factor for his presence was to finally clear the air. The normally outspoken 31-year old has flown well under the radar in the aftermath of his testing positive for multiple banned substances this past March, thus throwing away a massive payday and a shot at then-unbeaten, unified heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua. The June 1 assignment in MSG’s main room ultimately went to California’s Andy Ruiz, who climbed off the deck to drop Joshua four times en route to a 7th round stoppage.
While Ruiz (33-1, 22KOs) and Joshua (22-1, 21KOs) will head to Saudi Arabia for their Dec. 7 rematch, Miller is eager to head anywhere for his first fight of 2019. With that came an important next step.
“I’m a man.. I’ve always respected what you do, even when you bashed me on camera,” Miller said to Hearn in the presence of BoxingScene.com and other reporters during a post-fight press conference. “But I still got love for you. I think you’re a great businessman but uh…do you still want to promote me?”
Hearn couldn’t help but laugh at the suggestion.
“We’ll talk, we’ll talk,” noted Hearn, who was the promoter of record for Miller’s last two fights, coming late last year live on DAZN.
Miller remains co-promoted by Greg Cohen and Dmitriy Salita, and currently in the process of finalizing a lucrative deal that would have him showcased on ESPN platforms. The deal would bring Top Rank into the fold, although the heavyweight was hopeful of resurrecting past relationships before making any decision regarding his future.
“I’m a human being. Life happens, just do better,” Miller noted. “Be a better person, taking the wrong information that didn’t need to be taken, going in the wrong direction. It happens in life. Sometimes we make decisions that cost us money, cost us opportunity.
“The main thing is being better, understanding and learning from your mistakes. I’m not going to sit here and bash Eddie. We’re all human beings. We all mistakes. On to bigger and better things. We don’t know IF ESPN is the move, we’re in negotiations right now but let’s see.”
Miller will begin the process of receiving a boxing license in the United States later this week. By that point, a six-month “suspension” imposed by the World Boxing Association (WBA) will have expired, and which will give the heavyweight contender the ability to appear before a state commission and plead his case.
There remain questions as to where he can obtain a license. More concerning on his end, will be who will be along for the ride.
“I still love DAZN, they treat me very well,” insists Miller. “Eddie treated me very well up until that point. It’s business, but sometimes relationships do cause you to think back and wonder what works best.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox