Jarrell Miller loved seeing one of his fellow gym mates spring an upset on foreign soil.
The heavyweight contender from Brooklyn, New York, praised China’s Zhilei Zhang for stopping Joe Joyce in six rounds at the Copper Box Arena in London earlier this month.
Zhang, a native of China, lives and trains out of Bloomfield, New Jersey, a stone’s throw away from Miller’s hometown of New York City. Miller and Zhang have trained and sparred together over the years.
The win has propelled Zhang potentially into another big fight later this year. He is obligated to give Joyce a rematch but Joyce may not call for one immediately.
If fans and observers were surprised by the way Zhang handled Joyce, Miller wasn't at all taken aback by Zhang's performance.
“Big Zhang just whooped Joe Joyce’s ass,” Miller said on his social media. “I told a lot of people not to sleep on big Zhang. I said the boy can crack. I sparred him a couple times. I got in his ass a couple of times, but the boy cracked me a couple times. So I know the guy can crack, and he’s good dude.
“So I am happy for big Zhang, the big ass China man. And yes, he’s based out of New York City, so he gave [Joyce] a New York beatdown. I’m proud of you, Zhang.”
Miller, who has resumed his boxing career this year after testing positive for a slew of banned performance-enhancing substances ahead of his scheduled fight with Anthony Joshua in the summer of 2019, is also chomping at the bit to put his hands on a British heavyweight contender.
Co-promoted by Dmitry Salita, “Big Baby” is coming off a sixth-round stoppage of Lucas Browne in March In Dubai.
“I’m not here to call out Zhang, I’m not here to say nothin’ about Joe Joyce,” Miller said. “I wanna fight a Brit, though. I wanna fight Dillian Whyte. I wanna fight [Derrick] Chisora.”