By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – It’s worth the weight, according to Jarrell Miller.
The 6-feet-4 Miller, who weighed in at a career-high 304¼ pounds Friday, feels fresher and stronger at a higher weight than he did for his last fight. Miller, who’ll box Johann Duhaupas on Saturday night, weighed in at 283¼ pounds prior to his last bout, a ninth-round stoppage of Poland’s Mariusz Wach on November 11 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
Brooklyn’s Miller (20-0-1, 18 KOs) was 16½ pounds lighter against Wach (33-3, 17 KOs) than he was for his previous fight, but felt “weak” when he battled the 6-feet-7, 268-pound Wach. That’s why he intentionally trained to come in heavier, 21 pounds more, when he faces France’s Duhaupas (37-4, 24 KOs) in the opener of HBO’s “World Championship Boxing” doubleheader from Barclays Center in Brooklyn (10 p.m. ET/PT).
“When I was 280, I felt way worse than when I was 296,” Miller told BoxingScene.com. “I’m not a sloppy guy. I’m just a dense guy. I’m dense and I have girth. It’s different than if you find a 300-pound guy that’s sloppy and has got a big belly hanging out. I’m not that kind of person. I’m different.”
The 29-year-old Miller weighed in at 298¾ pounds for the bout before he stopped Wach. His opponent, 6-feet-6, 248-pound Gerald Washington, was chiseled when he stepped into the ring with Miller, but Miller beat Washington (18-2-1, 12 KOs) very convincingly before Washington’s trainer, John Pullman, decided he shouldn’t continue beyond the eighth round July 29 at Barclays Center.
“You can see that I can bounce around at 300, no problem,” Miller said. “My main thing is maintaining that. A lot of guys can look good. You have heavyweights – Washington was 255 and he bounced around with me for only three, four rounds. And he’s ripped and cut up, and he couldn’t go six rounds with me. So everybody’s built different. That’s all.
“Perception is what your mind believes, so I know what I can do. I can run six-minute miles at 280. I’m not 280 right now, but my main thing is I’ve been running, sprinting and doing whatever I can. I’m not worried about it. My main thing is I know what I’m physically capable of doing.”
The 6-feet-5 Duhaupas weighed in at 244.2 pounds Friday. That’s at least four pounds lighter than the 37-year-old Duhaupas has been for each of his past three fights.
After Miller-Duhaupas, HBO’s broadcast will feature a 12-round middleweight match between Brooklyn’s Daniel Jacobs (33-2, 29 KOs) and Maciej Sulecki (26-0, 10 KOs), of Warsaw, Poland.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.