Among the fights in the lineup for the “Day of Reckoning” card this Saturday, December 23, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, few are considered truly competitive. The matchup oddsmakers consider the closest is also the fight with serious enthusiasm among boxing fans. But anyone with a conscience has conflicting feelings about Daniel Dubois vs. Jarrell Miller.
Dubois of London (19-2, 18 KOs) is the smallest favorite on the card at -265 over Miller of Brooklyn, New York (26-0-1, 22 KOs) at +210. There’s no title or mandatory position at stake in the ten-round fight.
What is at stake is something more lasting: the reputation of both men.
Taking Out The Trash
Dubois wants to push back on the critics who call him a quitter when the going gets tough. After a tough stoppage loss to Joe Joyce, Dubois took on unified champion Oleksandr Usyk in August. Dubois was pushing the smaller Usyk back and gaining steam when a knockdown came on a controversial low blow. Dubois took the ruling hard and appeared to give up, calling it quits in the ninth round.
Miller began his combat sports career as a successful kickboxer. But he suffered two losses, and then Miller was suspended in 2014 for testing positive for methylhexaneamine, a mild stimulant linked with weight loss. He returned briefly before turning to boxing full-time in 2015.
Drug Cheating Damages Miller
Miller was on the rise, and his trash-talking ways and big knockouts won fans over. He became a favorite sparring partner of Wladimir Klitschko. He secured his big opportunity to fight against then-unified champion Anthony Joshua in his backyard at Madison Square Garden in 2019. But two months later, the fight fell through when Miller once again failed a string of drug tests. Additional tests turned up EPO and HGH. Miller got hit with a six-month ban.
Promoter Eddie Hearn was left scrambling to save the card. He found last-minute replacement opponent Andy Ruiz, Jr. You know the rest. Joshua lost to Ruiz Jr. in a historic upset and surely holds a grudge against Miller over it.
Miller was due to return after his suspension against American Jerry Forrest a year later. Deja vu: Miller popped positive against performance-enhancing drug GW1516. This time, the ban was two years.
Miller Does His Time, Works His Way Back
IT’S ALL OVER IN THE 6th!
— ProBox TV (@ProBox_TV) March 18, 2023
Miller secured work as a sparring partner for Tyson Fury and rode out the pandemic, working his way back into the limelight. After 43 months out of the ring, Miller quietly returned in an undercard fight in Buenos Aires in June 2022 and another in Tennessee a month later. In March, Miller scored a sixth-round TKO win against Lucas Browne of Australia in Dubai.
So improbably, Big Baby is finally back, with the stink of serial drug cheat all over him. When a man with lethal power who weighs more than 300 pounds feels the need to take PEDs, he puts his opponents' lives at risk. It’s no joke. Drug cheats have no morals, and we shouldn't reward them with big paychecks.
Lead promoter Frank Warren says all fighters on the card have undergone Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) testing and have tested clean.
Dubois believes most drug suspensions are not long enough but willingly agreed to Miller as his opponent on Saturday. He likened it to serving time in prison, and Miller was free to fight once his ban was over.
You Can't Deny Big Baby
Miller’s behavior can’t be excused. Nevertheless, one thing is undeniable. “Big Baby” Miller knows how to whip up a crowd, get under his opponent’s skin, and sell a fight card. He’s carrying the load for the multitude of promoters involved, including his own Dmitry Salita of Salita Promotions. All they need to do is yield the mike to Miller. As if they could stop him.
At the first event, Miller dove right in.
“Thank you, Daniel Dubois, for being a dummy and signing the contract because I’m going to beat your ass. I’m going in there and ripping your head off.
“We smell bitch in him. When you find a mean guy like me throwing 80 punches a round, I’m kicking his ass and sending him to early retirement.
“Listen, bro, I talk, and I can back it up. He was scared to fight Joseph Parker, he don’t want to chase him around. I come forward. I’m mean, hungry,” added Miller. When Dubois told him, “Bring it on. I’m motivated for this fight,” Miller replied, “I’m going to fry your ass, and then I’ll buy everybody some fish and chips. Frank, I feel sorry for you.”
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) November 15, 2023
Miller then turned his attention to former world champion Joshua. “We all know for a face AJ don’t want no smoke from Deontay (Wilder). As much as I don’t like Deontay, he’ll put that MF in the grave. Either fight Deontay and go to the grave, or fight me and go to the hospital. Either way, he gets his ass whooped. Either of us Americans will whip your ass. Stop running from me, stop running from Deontay,” roared Miller.
Miller Doubles Down, Drops the Mic
It’s been nonstop for the last month, right up to Thursday’s final news conference before the weigh-in and card.
Dubois was allowed to speak first, telling Miller, “Yo, Big Baby! Every baby has a daddy, and I’m going to beat you like I’m your daddy,” said Dubois in his opening remarks to Miller. “I’m ready to see him in the ring. I don’t do much talking, but I’m ready for him.”
Cue Big Baby on full blast.
“You know, I'm tired of roasting these guys all week, man, I'm exhausted. I'm just ready to punch them in the face already. I was like, who do I want to roast first? And I'm like, you know what? I'm gonna give all the fighters grace. You know, I'm gonna give AJ grace. You know, me and Deontay haven’t said no words so I’ll give him grace.”
Miller barely took a breath before turning on his old foe, Hearn.
“But I feel like picking on some promoters, you know. Eddie’s my guy still, you know? And I always say sometimes he can be a jackass, or you know, a little hypocrite. But you know, he does pay well, and he paid on time compared to the other dickheads on the side of the table.
“Frank, thank you so much. I wish you well even though you pick the wrong man, and I’m going to cook his ass.”
Miller said he’s excited to see the other fights on the card, naming Joshua vs. Wallin, Wilder vs. Parker, and Dmitry Bivol.
“We all got our respective tasks on Saturday. I’m locked in on Daniel Dubois right now. The beef and all that stuff can happen again after the fight. But I got your back now. If anyone messes with you, I’ll give them the Brooklyn beatdown for sure, I got you, you feel me?
“I’ve done enough talking. I’ve hyped the card as much as I can. Just buy the damn pay-per-view and watch an amazing night of boxing in Saudi.”
Dubois vs. Miller Prediction
Daniel Dubois is a capable fighter with talent. His career is on the line against Miller, and he knows it. All the pressure is on Dubois to perform. But across the ring is a man weighing well over 300 pounds. It's possible Miller could outweigh Dubois by 100 pounds on Saturday. Size isn't everything, but Miller is nimble for a big man and has a high punch rate for a man his size. Miller has never been knocked down or stopped.
Dubois's losses stole his will. He folds when the going gets too tough, and he'll fold again under Miller's pressure and work rate.
Miller wants the chance he denied himself five years ago against Joshua or the equivalent. It's been a longer road back for him than for Dubois, and NY Fights predicts he'll beat his underdog status to win a late-round TKO.
I hate myself for it, but I didn't hesitate to put down my $40, and I'll be enjoying a fine breakfast in California when the card kicks off at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT. Choose DAZN PPV or ESPN+ PPV.=