Bryan Altman, CBS Local Sports
Currently occupying the top rung of boxing’s heavyweight division are the likes of Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua among a few other notable, big-name stars set to duke it out for the next few years for heavyweight supremacy. However, fellow heavyweight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller believes that those boxing superstars are soon going to have another force to reckon with in the heavyweight division. That, of course, would be him.
“Deontay Wilder… boy I’m coming for your Alabama BBQ. Tyson Fury, I’m coming for you, and that Calvin Klein, English muffin-eating sucker, Joshua Anthony, boy, I’m coming for you. Just wait,” Miller said as he stared into the camera after defeating Donovan Dennis earlier this year.
Like many fighters before him, “Big Baby” (17-0-1, 15 KOs) has a self-proclaimed “big damn mouth” and he’s “not afraid to use it.” But on Friday night in Rochester, New York, talk, will be cheap, and Miller will need to put up or shut up if he’s going to take the next step towards being a real heavyweight contender against Fred Kassi (18-5-1, 10 KOs).
The highly-anticipated heavyweight bout will be airing live on Showtime as the main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation quadruple header, live on the network beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
While Miller is coming off of yet another victory by way of TKO over Nick Guivas, Kassi is looking to avenge a second-straight loss, his latest at the hands of Hughie Fury, cousin of heavyweight champion, Tyson.
Kassi has been somewhat snake-bitten of late and hasn’t won in his last four fights. Still, he’s known as a tough opponent who’s extremely durable and is known for making his opponents look bad in the ring with his unorthodox style.
“I approach Jarrell like all young fighters,” Kassi said. “He’s got size and power, but it’s nothing I haven’t seen. I’m tired of getting robbed by judges like in El Paso (against Arreola), and in Alabama (against Breazeale). That should have been me fighting Anthony Joshua in The O2. Against Fury, the cut saved him. Another round or two and he would have been done. Then we heard what we always hear, ‘Oh, Fury had a bad night, so did Breazeale, so did Arreola.’ They all seem to have bad nights when I’m in the other corner. I’m hoping to actually get some credit when Miller has a ‘bad’ night too.”
While going 10 rounds with Kassi is sure to be no easy task for Miller, he remains confident that he’ll be able to handle the 36-year-old Cameroon native and move that much closer to a potential title fight.
“I’m ready to put his lights out like I do everybody else,” Miller said. “I know he’s durable and a little older than me. He’s a tough guy and he can take a beating. So far, he’s only been stopped once. I’ll be the second.”
In two more scheduled 10-round bouts on Friday, unbeaten Antonio Nieves (16-0-1, 8 KOs) will defend his WBO NABO 118-pound crown against Mexico native Alejandro Santiago (11-2-1, 3 KOs). In the telecast opener, undefeated welterweight Bakhtiyar Eyubov (10-0, 10 KOs) will face veteran Karim Mayfield (19-3-1, 11 KOs) all on Showtime tomorrow night at 10 p.m. ET.
Bryan Altman is, for some reason, an unabashed fan of the Rangers, Jets and Mets. If he absolutely had to pick a basketball team it would be the Knicks, but he’d gladly trade them for a championship for any of his other three teams.