Boxing fans had their brows raised when they saw a story in the UK “The Sun” which said “Fury in line to face drugs cheat Miller on October 5 in preparation for Wilder rematch….leaving Joshua out in cold.”
The byline reads “Declan Taylor,” and Mr. Taylor, it is stated, wrote from Las Vegas. That's where Tyson fury did his LV debut, on Saturday evening, during whhich time he offered solid entertainment bang for the buck, offering a two-fer, a KO of an unbeaten foe, and also a post-fight song, in center ring.
But that Sun story, it had us going, “Really?”
Because yes, Fury will be fighting again, in September or October, as he told Joe Tessitore postfight…but against Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller?
Fight fans by and large know that Miller (23-0-1), age 30, was de-fenestrated from a June 1 fight, against Anthony Joshua, after he 2. No, he hasn't furished the supposed supplement which raised a red flag, nor the alleged purveyor of the cocktail which contained red-flag amounts of EPO and HGH. Doing so, his detractors and critics suggest, would help his explanation hold more water.
Miller trekked to Vegas and soaked in some of the flavor in Sin City; yes, social media reacted, being that his PED flap really stirred up hornets nests and his follow-up handling of the kerfuffle has many wondering what lessons have been learned. A pic of him and Fury promoter Bob Arum floated around the ‘net, and so that got tongues wagging.
Basically, people started thinking about a Miller vs Fury fight, and then we saw that Sun story.
So, I asked Arum about it. Bob, could we see Fury-Miller in October, even with Miller's PED deal not having been resolved?
“News to me,” Arum responded.
So, there was a meet ‘n greet with him. Just a basic shoot the shit, no talk of Miller fighting under Top Rank banner (in a presumed co-promotion deal)?
“Just got to know each other,” Arum told me.
Miller is promoted by Salita Promotions and Greg Cohen, for the record.
After Miller tested positive, fans were not clear on his status as an active fighter. There is no hard and fast rule or regulation on when a fighter can fighter after a PED positive. State commissions and sanctioning bodies typically work together, ideally, and suspensions are meted out, but since there's no central authoritative body, gray areas abound. As Miller's license to box in NY hadn't been re-upped, NYSAC didn't and doesn't have oversight authority over his case. Mike Mazzulli heads up the Association of Boxing Commissions, so I reached out to him, asking if he thought it possible that Miller could indeed gain a license to box in early fall after testing positive for three different chemicals, in March. (The WBA ruled that Miller would be forbidden from appearing in their rankings for six months, from the point of the PED positive, as a punishment.)
“The board of directors of the ABC has recently voted on a new federal identification application that will address the loop-hole that occurred in NY,” Mazzuli told me. “Many tribal and states commissions have the same regulation as NY, which does not allow an applicant to be suspended unless the fighter is licensed. As long as the fighter was provided a new federal identification from the ABC, the new application will allow the ABC to suspend the fighter. As we all can agree, fighter safety is the most important element of what we do, and making sure there is an even playing field for all fighters that place their lives and careers in the hands of the ABC is vitally important. The new application will be voted on by the entire body at the annual convention in late July, 2019.”
Every fighter has a federal ID, as required by the Muhammad Ali Act, and that license is active for four years at a time.
It has yet to be determined when Miller will be fighting again; Mazzulli spoke to that issue. “I believe that all commissions will not allow Miller to fight since he has failed two drug tests since starting his pro combative career. At Mohegan (where Mazzulli heads up boxing), it is an automatic six months suspension for a first offense. When he returns he must provide a negative test, as well.”
Bottom line, Miller will fight again, maybe sooner rather than later. Against who and where is TBD.
But does this Arum-Miller meeting suggest to us we see The Gypsy King and the controversial behemoth gloving up at some point?
Does Miller like cheeseburgers?