By Jake Donovan
The 2019 return of Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller will have to wait a little longer.
Efforts to get the unbeaten Brooklyn-bred heavyweight on this Friday’s DAZN-streamed show at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theatre in New York City have proven for naught. Miller was rumored to land on the undercard against an opponent to be determined, but time became a factor as it was decided to just have him sit this one out, BoxingScene.com was informed through sources with knowledge of said efforts.
The latest option called for Miller (23-0-1, 20KOs) to face cult favorite Joey Dawejko, but such a proposal never advanced beyond preliminary talks.
The rest of the show remains intact, with unbeaten Demetrius Andrade facing Artur Akavov in the first defense of a middleweight title he claimed in mid-October.
On the undercard, three-division titlist Jorge Linares enters a title eliminator versus Mexico’s Pablo Cesar Cano for a future crack at a super lightweight belt. The same goal is in mind for Chris Algieri, who returns for the second fight of his comeback but is already being groomed for a potential 2019 1st quarter showdown with unbeaten 140-pound titlist Maurice Hooker.
Miller’s name as a possible addition to the show came late in the game, with the Brooklynite never part of the original plans and—according to sources—the possibility of his fighting on the card more hoping for the best than anything set in stone.
More realistic plans call for the 30-year old to return either in late February or early March. It would still give him a relatively quick turnaround, as he closed out 2018 with knockout wins of former two-division champ Tomasz Adamek and previously unbeaten Bogdan Dinu in a span of six weeks from early October to mid-November.
Loftier goals have Miller on the list of future challengers eyed by reigning unbeaten and unified heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua, who is still considering options for a planned April 13 title defense at Wembley Stadium in London.