British heavyweight prospect Frazer ‘The Eraser’ Clarke 8-0 (6) believes that disgraced American Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller 26-0-1 (22) should not have been afforded the opportunity to fight on the blockbuster ‘Day of Reckoning’ card at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.
Just five years ago the 35-year-old Miller was considered America’s best chance of winning a piece of the world heavyweight crown before twice testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.
After returning to the ring after three-and-a-half years off in June last year, he has strung together three victories against mediocre opposition to be drafted in as the opponent for Britain’s 26-year-old Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois 19-2 (18) this weekend.
Some people in boxing have long memories. You can count the 32-year-old Clarke amongst them.
“Given his history with failed drug tests, I don’t feel his presence is welcomed,” Clarke wrote in a column for Metro recently.
“I don’t know how he has wriggled his way onto this show, to be honest. In a business sense, you have to say well done to him and his team. But in reality, it is a kick in the teeth to any top 10 heavyweight that goes out and works their arse off chasing opportunities like this.
“But it is here and it is happening. Miller is a part of this card and like I’ve said, he and his team deserve credit for the job they have done on rebuilding him.
“But there is always going to be a bit of resistance from some promoters and fighters to work with him – and so there should be. Miller has always denied being a drugs cheat. But in my eyes, his ban was the result of him trying gain an unfair advantage and that is so dangerous in this game.
“He is taking his opportunity but it is an opportunity he doesn’t deserve in my eyes. There are fighters with a clean history in this division at the exact same level who deserve this opportunity more. He has wriggled his way through the business which happens in this game.
“But it’s dangerous for the sport. It is all fine until someone gets seriously hurt or killed then it becomes a big problem. And that will eventually happen, unfortunately.”
Clarke, who has boxed four times this year and progressed to 10 round bouts, is tipping his countryman to get the job done against Miller inside the distance.
“Jarrell certainly has a busy work rate and has put away 22 of his 26 opponents to date,” Clarke said. “He will put in a valiant effort I am sure. But I think Daniel is a level above him and I can only see him coming out of this with a win and as a better fighter.”
“He likes to punish people, he has got the spite in him to do that, even in sparring. In a fight like this against someone like Miller, who will have a lot to say in the coming weeks, he will want to send a clear message.
“I’m predicting a stoppage win for Daniel. I don’t think Miller and his camp understand the power he has. Once he starts landing his jab, it gets very difficult for him. If he lands clean I see him putting him over quite badly.”