Eddie Hearn’s American experiment is proving to be more successful than many imagined, and he has become increasingly accustomed to venturing across the Atlantic in recent weeks as he seeks to establish Matchroom Boxing as the dominant promotional power worldwide.
In order to achieve this objective in addition to revitalising the American appetite for boxing, Hearn understands clearly that he must acquire fighters who themselves are dominant in their respective divisions. Indeed, two of the four belts in the middleweight division are currently in the possession of two American Matchroom fighters in Demetrius Andrade and Danny Jacobs – a pair of skilful, exciting personalities seemingly poised to unify titles following wins for the vacant WBO and IBF titles, respectively.
This Saturday night, Hearn travels to Kansas where Brooklyn’s larger-than-life heavyweight Jarrell ‘ Big Baby’ Miller will be looking to dispatch of undefeated Romanian Bogdan Dinu in his dogged pursuit of a megafight with champion stablemate Anthony Joshua. ‘Big Baby’ has enjoyed a relatively active year; most recently demolishing Poland’s Tomasz Adamek inside two rounds in Chicago last month.
Miller, a former kickboxer, is a powerful, physically strong unit who often comes into the ring weighing in excess of 300lbs, and looks to impose his sheer size on his opponents. It is fair to say that Big Baby has a derisive attitude towards many of his rivals in the division and is an entertaining character with a penchant for trash-talking.
Not much is known of his opponent, who comes into this fight with an impressive record of 18-0 with 14 knockouts – albeit against equally obscure opposition – whereas Miller is already well-acquainted with British fight fans after numerous online spats with several fighters in the UK, in addition to becoming an embroiled in a heated confrontation with Joshua at a DAZN media event in August.
If Miller can win, he will be in prime position to challenge Joshua himself or alternatively Dillian Whyte, provided the latter defeats Dereck Chisora in their highly-anticipated sequel on December 22nd, as Miller himself has stated.
“Bogdan is aggressive but he has never fought someone like me, who is going to be the aggressor in the fight.” said Miller.
“I’m going to be coming forward, throwing bombs. He’s going to try to move against me, everybody does, but then they all end up running for their lives, and they can only run for so long.”
“If AJ is not ready to face me with a title, then I’ll go and whoop Dillian’s butt. It’ll help my profile in Britain.
“I am not afraid of Dillian. He’s a clown, nobody is afraid of him.” Miller finished.
Meanwhile, middleweight contender Luis Arias of Milwaukee, Winconsin will be also hoping to work his way into world level with an emphatic win over battle-tested Philadelphian Gabriel Rosado, who was last in action over a year ago, springing a surprise sixth-round stoppage win over Glen Tapia after being controversially outpointed by Martin Murray on away soil.
Arias has been inactive for a similar amount of time, falling short against Daniel Jacobs via unanimous decision on Matchroom Boxing’s inaugural American card at the Nassau Collosseum in New York’s Long Island. ‘Cuba’ will therefore be determined to make a statement with a clinical victory over one of the division’s toughest and most seasoned fighters.
Reigning IBF and WBA champion Claressa Shields was originally scheduled for an undisputed unification showdown against similarly undefeated WBO and WBC German counterpart Cristina Hammer on Showtime, before an injury necessitated an indefinite postponement of a bout that had garnered a significant amount of hype.
Shields will instead be defending against Hannah Rankin, with the newly-vacant WBC middleweight championship also, as the Flint native bids to become – in her own words – ‘the greatest woman of all time’ with a fifth world title in six fights.
In her fourth fight, she captured the WBC and IBF super-middleweight titles after pummelling reigning champion Nikki Adler into submission after five rounds in front of a delighted Detroit crowd. Shields will undoubtedly be hoping once again to captivate audiences – watching live and on television – by impressively showcasing her skills on a big platform.
Also featuring on the card is former WBA lightweight champion and two-time welterweight title challenger Brandon Rios, who makes a return to the ring against Ramon Alvarez, following a devastating ninth-round knockout loss to Danny Garcia in February.
Finally, heavy-handed light heavyweight prospect Anthony Sims Jr. – another burgeoning American boxing superstar – looks to extend his record to 17-0 with another knockout victory on what promises to be a card filled with action-packed drama.
Quotes: Matchroom Boxing [Press Release]
Article by: Navi Singh
Follow Navi on Twitter at: @DarkMan________