By Jake Donovan

The next few weeks will determine whether Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller will get to enjoy his first fight of 2019 or if there remains work to be done to gain the trust of a state commission in granting him a boxing license.

A six-month suspension as imposed by the World Boxing Association (WBA) didn’t officially block the brash Brooklyn (N.Y.)-bred heavyweight from resuming his career, although it has been treated as such by Miller’s team.

The order came down in April, following his having tested positive for multiple banned substances during random pre-fight drug testing for his eventually canceled June 1 clash with Anthony Joshua.

Lost out was a multi-million dollar payday as well as the ability to box in New York, whose state commission rejected his application for a boxing license amidst the fallout. With the WBA suspension backdated to March 23—the date of the first positive drug test (though not discovered until mid-April)—the hunt will begin after September 22 to receive the necessary sanctioning to resume his career.

“The plan is to get him a license and return to the ring hopefully in October,” Greg Cohen, Miller’s co-promoter told

“Look, we could’ve played (loose) with the rules, take Big Baby to another country where the suspension wouldn’t be recognized and have kept him active.

“But we want to show that we—and especially he—takes this very seriously and fully intend to go through the proper channels to resume his boxing career.”

More than a missed payday, Miller (23-0-1, 20KOs) had to sit and watch his replacement, California’s Andy Ruiz (33-1, 22KOs) hit the jackpot as he arose from a knockdown to score four of his own in dethroning England’s Joshua (22-1, 21KOs). The win earned Ruiz the distinction of becoming the first Mexican boxer in history to claim a piece of the heavyweight throne, also lining up a lucrative rematch which is set for Dec. 7 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

Neither a title fight nor a sizeable payday of that nature will be in Miller’s immediate future. However, there remains the hope to at least make up for lost time once he’s cleared to resume his career.

“Jarrell has kept in (boxing) shape, ready to return,” notes Cohen. “If we tell him he’s got a fight in October, he will expect another one to come in December.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox