Dmitriy Salita: We have to work hard to rehabilitate Jarrell Miller’s name, what happened with Anthony Joshua still lingers in the mind of TV executives

Undefeated American heavyweight Jarrell Miller comes off a sixth round knockout victory over Lucas Browne early this year to somewhat reestablish himself in boxing’s most revered weight class.

The jovial New Yorker has rebuilt his record to some degree after failing multiple drug tests in the build up to Anthony Joshua’s American debut in the summer of 2019. 

Miller (26-0-1, 22 KOs) took a near four hiatus from the ring following his fall from the top of the heavyweight division. He returned with a unanimous decision victory over Ariel Esteban Bracamonte in Argentina in June of 2022, followed by a knockout victory over the little known Derek Cardenas in Tennessee one month later. His victory over Browne leaves him ranked in sixth place within the WBA nearly half a decade on from his failed drugs tests. 

“He’s a very popular guy and has a lot of interest from the media,” Salita said in exclusive interview for ProBox TV from the WBO congress in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, “but because of what happened with Anthony Joshua that still lingers in the minds of TV executives when they make a decision. So, we have to work hard to rehabilitate his name and give him the opportunity to fight the big guys he wants to fight. He was ordered to fight for the WBA [regular] title against Manuel Charr. We are working in that direction to see when and where we can make it happen. But, Jarrell skill-wise and personality-wise could be a big star in the heavyweight division. 

“He’s obviously made some real mistakes that has cost him and he has reprinted and redeemed himself towards getting his shot at the world title, finally. I believe it can happen for him, we just need to be patient and work hard and make sure it happens in due time. I do feel there have to be tough measures against fighters that take drugs, not recreationally, but for performance enhancing. I think it is a big part of the sport that needs filling in, we need to fill in the gaps to make sure the sport of boxing is 100 percent as safe as it can be. That being said, Jarrell has been out of the ring until his first fight back for about four years. I believe there has to be a unified front in terms of what the punishment is, consistency would be good in many parts of boxing from a regulatory point of view. In relation to drugs and the time of suspension, Jarrell was suspended in Nevada and it was the state that regranted him his license but we have had conversations with different jurisdictions throughout the world who said they would not license him or think hard about licensing him. To me that is quite bizarre, if you do the time, you serve the crime, but if you serve the time you have to have the ability to go back out into the world and be efficient again. I believe Jarrell deserves the opportunity to go out there and prove himself again." 

The curious case of Mamoud Charr and the WBA has dragged on insistently since the German heavyweight won the WBA regular title against Aleksandr Ustinov in 2017. Somehow nearly six years later with just three fights to his name in that time, Charr jumps the queue to face Miller for the vacant secondary WBA belt. 

“Charr had his issues with the WBA, part of that settlement was that he gets to fight Jarrell Miller [for the WBA regular title].” Salita explained. “We were talking about the fight taking place in Africa but we are speaking with several destinations, we will see what happens. Let's talk about it in a week.”