By Ryan Burton
On July 29th, heavyweight contenders Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller (18-0-1) and Gerald Washington (18-1-1) will collide at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The fight will take place on the Mikey Garcia-Adrien Broner undercard and will be televised by Showtime.
With all the talk of the upcoming mega cross sport pay-per-view fight pitting former boxing pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather against UFC superstar and champion Conor McGregor, BoxingScene.com spoke to Washington's trainer John Pullman about the comparison with his fighter facing Miller who used to be a professional kick boxer.
The veteran trainer feels that the onus really is on the newcomer to the sport and feels that any advantage a combat fighter may have in their "awkwardness" will be canceled out by their inexperience.
"Honestly I kind of think it puts the monkey on their back to come into a new sport because here you have a sport where you have guys who have been focusing on one thing most of their life which is boxing and punching, using hands only for fighting," said Pullman.
"And now you have to come and try to match their skill that they have been practicing for so long when you have been practicing that but not just that with a lot of other things so you haven't been perfecting that as well. So it kind of puts the monkey on their back. Even though they have an idea how to do it it's going to be harder on them even though they might be a little awkward at first."
In 2014 Miller was suspended for nine months by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) for testing positive for methylhexaneamine (dimethylamylamine).
According to the suspension letter obtained by MMAmania.com, the CSAC received lab results from Miller's urine sample from his fight at GLORY 17 in Inglewood, California, back on June 21, 2014.
Pullman admits that the positive drug test has him a little concerned about the upcoming fight.
"The only thing about Miller that I do find a little awkward is that I know that he did test positive for a performance enhancing drug in 2014 and was actually suspended by the California State Athletic Commission so that throws concern into my mind as to is he a clean fighter because in the past he has proven not to be and just looking at the way he acts - he acts like somebody who is really emotional, like something is altering his mind and he acts a little crazy. So I do have my questions and concerns about him but at the end of the day I have to trust the process and that the New York State Athletic will do their job and that this fight will be hopefully clean as can be and in a level playing field," Pullman told BoxingScene.
"I know they are probably going to do some kind of testing the day of the fight. That is what I was told my management but it's not the type of fight like when Gerald fought Wilder and they did random blood and urine testing in advance where they would just show at the gym or Gerald's door and so on. It's not that kind of stringent testing which I think is a lot better off than what we are getting but this is what we have and we gotta do the best we can with what we have."
As for what's next should they be victorious on July 29th, Pullman said he hasn't looked that far ahead.
"I haven't thought a whole heck of a lot about it just because I try to focus on one thing at a time but honesty it will put him right where he wants to be. Jarrell Miller is ranked by the WBO, by the WBA, by the IBF. He is ranked by all the organizations in the top 10 at least I think. That is the kind of guy Gerald needs to beat to put him in position to challenge for another world title." Pullman explained.
Pullman finished our conversation by pointing out that Miller isn't ranked by the WBC in their top 15 and the WBC happens to be the only sanctioning body that requires its boxers in the top 15 to participate in its "Clean Boxing" program and subject themselves to random year round random testing.
"It's also funny going back to my other point about the performance enhancing drugs, he is ranked by all of those organizations but he is not ranked in the WBC, at least not in the top 15 and the reason for that to me is that they make you sign up for voluntary drug testing. You have to be known everywhere. The WBC is the only one that does that so it's kind of peculiar to me he is ranked by all the other ones but not that one because obviously he didn't sign up for that. So it makes me just scratch my head and makes me question his integrity as a fighter. But you know I just gotta trust the process," said Pullman.
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