Before becoming a rising contender in boxing's heavyweight division, Jarrell Miller was a successful kickboxer who has fought the likes of combat sports legend Mirko Cro Cop.
Now Miller is fresh off of a world title challenger in his next fight. Miller talked to Fightful to talk about his upcoming fight against Mariusz Wach on November 11 that he went on to win, and discussed his kickboxing upbringing. Miller lost twice to Cro Cop, with the first fight being a somewhat controversial decision win for Cro Cop, before transitioning to boxing full-time, but said his time as a kickboxer helped shaped his skills as a boxer.
“People don’t realize that I burned [by the judges] in one of the fights but it is what it is, I’m moving onto bigger and better things. Kickboxing gave me the skills and mental fortitude to get to where I am at. Kickboxing served me a purpose and I’m moving on to bigger and better things,” Miller said.
Miller's rise to stardom in the heavyweight division has placed him in the top 10 in the WBA, WBO and IBF rankings. With those rankings, he is in prime position to eventually challenge Anthony Joshua (IBF and WBA champion) or Joseph Parker (WBO). Miller's focus is to defeat Wach, but if he had his way, he would have picked Parker as his first world title challenge so that a fight against Joshua or against WBC heavyweight Deontay Wilder could be possible.
“Belts these days are more like bargaining chips for more money, so I’ll go after the easiest target and that’s Joseph Parker and knock him off his stool, then have a pay-per-view fight back in the states against Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua. Definitely Joseph Parker [would be the first]. I’ll make my way towards him and break his face, but we’ll see. The IBF ranking is pretty close, so maybe Anthony Joshua is first. It’s a matter of time, but it’s been pretty cool,” Miller said.
During the WBC convention earlier this year, President Mauricio Sulaiman hinted at the possibility of a super heavyweight division being created. Miller would likely be slotted into the super heavyweight position and likely be an immediate title contender, but Miller said he is not a fan of a super heavyweight division being created.
“Nah I think it’s stupid. They’re trying to make more belts for more money, but it is actually hurting the sport with that dumb crap. I don’t think they need to. Boxing has been doing well for years without it and it doesn’t make any sense,” Miller said.
Miller's fight against Wach was on the HBO card headlined by Daniel Jacobs' fight against Luis Arias at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York. Miller is undefeated as a pro boxer with 18 of his 20 wins coming via knockout.