By Mark Eisner (Boxing News 24)
In a devastating hat trick, heavyweight contender Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller has now tested positive for a third test for a banned substance for his canceled June 1 fight against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. The two previous failed tests for the 30-year-old Miller (30-0-1, 23 KOs) came from the banned substance GW1516 for the first test, and Human Growth Hormone [HGH], and the third failed test results, which were revealed on Friday, that show that he tested positive for EPO and GW1516 again, according to ESPN. Miller has also posted on his social media site what appears to be an admission of guilt.
It can’t get any worse than this for Miller, who is about to lose out on millions of dollars that would have set him up for life. Miller failing one test is bad enough, but for him to three separate tests? It’s like a bad dream.
The New York State Athletic Commission already denied the 300+ pound Miller his boxing license at a hearing on Wednesday after they learned the news of his first positive test for the banned substance GW1516, which was collected from Miller in a random urine test on March 20 by VADA. Earlier on Friday, it was revealed that Miller had also tested positive in a second test. This time, Miller tested positive for the banned substance Human Growth Hormone [HGH] on March 31 in a test conducted by VADA. This test was a blood test, unlike the first test on March 20th, which was a urine test. Additionally, a urine test conducted on March 31 of Miller came up positive for the banned substance EPO, which helps improve a fighter’s blood to carry oxygen. This would obviously be a substance that would help fighter’s endurance to assist them to fight harder, and possibly throw more punches. If a fighter is dealing with exhaustion in his fights, a substance like EPO would be handy to help them, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN. Moreover, the GW1516 substance that Miller tested positive for would help a fighter metabolize fat to burn it, and to help with their conditioning for their fights. HGH assists with increasing muscle mass.
Miller had recently asked for his B sample from his March 20th positive test for GW1516 to be tested, which could potentially clear him if it came up negative for the substance. However, in light of Miller’s two additional positive tests for GW1516, EPO and Human Growth Hormone, he’ll need more B samples to be tested. At this point, Miller hasn’t indicated that he’ll ask for the B samples from those tests to be examined.
Not surprisingly, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing is moving on, and actively looking for a replacement opponent to have him fight on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Hearn has a number of options he’s following, and he’s confident he’ll have a suitable replacement opponent ready to be announced by early next week.
Below is Jarrell Miller’s transcript from his Instagram post he made on Friday:
“This is your boy ‘Big Baby’ Miller. A lot can be said right now. I’ll get straight to the point. I messed up. I made a bad call. In a lot of ways with the situation, I handled it wrongly, and I’m paying a price for it. I missed out on a big opportunity, and I’m hurting on the inside. My heart is bleeding right now. I hurt my family, my friends, my team, my supporters, but I’m owing up to it. I’m going to deal with it. I’m going to correct it. I’m going to come back better. I’m humbled by the experience. I understand how to handle certain things now. I’m going to leave it at that. I appreciate you guys. I don’t want to make a bad name for ourselves. It’s time to do right and get right.”
“To be honest I can’t believe it. You always want to give an athlete the benefit of the doubt, but this leaves no doubt,” Hearn said to ESPN.com. “It worries me that fighters feel the only way they can beat AJ is by taking banned substances. One thing we know is Miller is out. AJ’s new opponent for June 1 will be announced next week. Clean fighters only need apply.”
Hearn is getting a little carried away by making a global statement by saying that “fighters feel the only way they can beat AJ is by taking banned substances.” Right now, we only have ONE fighter that tested positive for banned substances while preparing for a fight against Joshua. WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has had TWO fighters in the past test positive for banned substances. Joshua is new to this. This isn’t happening all the time to Joshua. This is the first time in his six-year pro career that one of his opponents has tested positive for a banned substance. If Joshua goes another six years before his next opponent tests positive, he’ll be 36, and getting up there in age.
Miller recently posted on his social media site, saying that he NEVER “knowingly” took a banned substance.
Here’s what Miller said earlier this week on his Instagram site after his FIRST failed test for the banned substance GW1516:
“I have NEVER knowingly taken any banned substance and when I found out the news [Tuesday] night I was totally shocked. My team and I stand for integrity, decency & honesty and together we will stand to fight this with everything we have!”
Five years ago, Miller tested positive for the banned substance methylhexaneamine after his Glory kickboxing match against Mirko Cro Cop. Miller lost the fight by a decision, and was subsequently suspended by the California State Athletic Commission after he tested positive for methylhexaneamine.
Being removed from the Joshua fight is going to hurt Miller in his pocketbook from the money that he’s going to lose from not getting that title shot. Miller’s purse for the Joshua fight was $4.875 million. Miller would have made additional money from that fight from the pay-per-view percentages from Sky Box Office PPV in the UK. On top of that, Miller will lose $3 million from fights on DAZN that would have taken place after his likely loss to Joshua on June 1. DAZN was going to pay Miller $1.5 million for each of the two fights. We’re looking at Miller losing out on around $9 million now that he’s no longer facing Joshua. Whether Miller can ever put himself back into position to get a big payday against Joshua or another heavyweight champion is open for debate. Miller is young enough at 30, big enough, and strong enough to work his way back into a title spot. It’s likely that Miller will need to be made a mandatory for one of the champions for him to get a title shot. After this episode, it’s unlikely that any of the world champions would want to take a chance of giving Miller a title shot on a voluntary shot. Obviously, it’s going to take Miller a lot more time and hard work for him to work his way into position to be made a mandatory for Joshua or WBC champion Deontay Wilder.