If Jarrell Miller can beat Lucas Browne on Saturday, Miller’s co-promoter is confident that type of victory would show Miller is ready to fight heavyweights toward the top of their division.
Browne is 43, but the hard-hitting Australian upset Junior Fa by first-round technical knockout in his most recent fight. Perth’s Browne is also Miller’s most imposing opponent since the unbeaten Miller came back last June from a two-year suspension caused by yet another failed test for a performance-enhancing drug.
“This is an opportunity for Jarrell to re-establish himself as a legitimate top-tier heavyweight,” Dmitriy Salita, Miller’s co-promoter, told BoxingScene.com. “I believe that Jarrell, based on his personality and with an impressive victory, puts himself back in the conversation with all the top heavyweights. That’d be Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. He’s an undefeated American heavyweight and brings a lot to the table. This is a significant moment for him to get himself back to the top of the division.”
ProBoxTV.com will stream the card headlined by Miller-Browne from The Agenda, an arena in Dubai (1 p.m. ET; 10 a.m. PT). Miller has had difficulty finding more prominent television and streaming partners willing to work with him in the United States because of his PED ordeals in recent years.
The Brooklyn native’s lengthy suspension stemmed from failing a test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in June 2020, a few weeks before Miller was scheduled to fight Jerry Forrest at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. That two-year suspension for an unspecified substance was lifted last year and the NSAC agreed to license Miller in November.
Failing that test cost Miller his co-promotional agreement with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., which wanted to showcase Miller on ESPN even after he tested positive for four banned substances prior to his ill-fated fight against then-unbeaten champion Anthony Joshua in June 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Miller wasn’t suspended for those breaches because he wasn’t licensed at that time by the New York State Athletic Commission.
The 34-year-old Miller has beaten two journeymen since he resumed his career June 23. Salita senses that Miller is driven to redeem himself against a better opponent after spending some time with Miller recently at his training camp in Florida.
“He lost life-changing opportunities, with significant paydays, so you can’t say that he didn’t pay the price for what he did,” Salita said. “He got [the punishment] he received and one of the most regulated commissions in the world licensed him. And he’s doing his best to make it back to the top level. He’s had two stay-busy fights to shake off the rust, and now this is a step up in that direction. I believe that he can score an impressive knockout against Lucas Browne. That would move him in the right direction for a big fight.”
Most handicappers have made Miller (25-0-1, 20 KOs) at least a 7-1 favorite to beat Browne (31-3, 27 KOs) in their 10-round main event. Browne has been knocked out three times since March 2018, most notably by England’s Dillian Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs), but he has produced back-to-back knockout wins since another Australian, Paul Gallen (then 10-0-1), stopped him in the first round of their April 2021 fight in Wollongong, Australia.
Browne is the 6-foot-4, 333-pound Miller’s most formidable foe since he knocked out Romania’s Bogdan Dinu (then 18-0) in the fourth round of a fight that took place in November 2018 at Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas.
“It’s been more than four years since he’s been in a significant fight,” Salita said. “That’s a long time. Looking into his eyes, I see someone who has learned a lot of painful life lessons from lost opportunities. From what I’ve seen in training camp, he looks very serious and very focused. The goal is for him to come off this layoff and perform at a world-class level. A lot of that will be answered Saturday night in Dubai.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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