Heavyweight contender Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller is a mountain of man with a mouth just as big. So when he came to the podium to speak on Tuesday at a news conference in New York to announce his next fight, he didn’t hold back.
“Nov. 11 is gonna be war. I’m going to kill something,” Miller said as he eyed opponent Mariusz Wach, who was seated at the dais just a few feet away. “It took teamwork to get to where I’m at. I could not get here by myself, but in that ring, I’m by myself. Come Nov. 11, I’m going to kick your behind. He got no idea. It’s going to be fireworks. I’m mean, I’m a killer. I’m gonna knock your head off. But thank you for signing the contract.”
Miller will make his HBO debut when he takes on former world title challenger Wach in a 12-round fight on Nov. 11 (10 p.m. ET/PT) at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale on New York’s Long Island.
The Miller-Wach bout will serve as the co-feature for the main event that will pit former middleweight world titlist Daniel Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs), 30, of Brooklyn, against Luis Arias (18-0, 9 KOs), 27, of Milwaukee, in a 12-round bout. It will be Jacobs’ first fight of his new contract with HBO and British promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, who is putting on his first card in the United States. The fight also will be Jacobs’ first since his razor-close decision loss to unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin on March 18.
The 6-foot-4 Miller (19-0-1, 17 KOs), 29, of Brooklyn, New York, has been groomed on Showtime but is making the move to HBO as he comes off his most significant victory, an eighth-round knockout of former world title challenger Gerald Washington on July 29 on the Mikey Garcia-Adrien Broner undercard at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Miller, a former kickboxer, was nearly 300 pounds when he faced Washington but still threw punches in bunches and showed tremendous stamina in the one-sided fight. He vowed to be in better shape against Wach.
“I’m super motivated. When I mean I’m super motivated, I fought last time at 296 [pounds]. I’m 296 now, so imagine five weeks from now where I’m going to be at,” Miller said.
Though Miller sounded in a jovial mood — joking with the media, Hearn and his own promoter, Dmitry Salita — he also spoke of non-specific personal issues that were causing him problems.
“I could talk a lot of junk right now, but I’ll be real with you and the fans,” Miller said to the media. “Your boy going through a lot in his personal life. I’m going through a lot. I almost didn’t come to the press conference because I was so pissed. … But it’s not just about me. Me not coming to this press conference is the ultimate disrespect.”
The 6-foot-7, 260-pound Wach (33-2, 17 KOs), 37, of Poland, challenged then-unified heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2012 and went the distance in a near-shutout loss. He rebounded with four victories in a row before getting stopped in the 12th round by Alexander Povetkin in 2015. Wach, who has had many of his bouts in the United States, has won two fights since then. Now he is expected to give Miller the toughest test of his career.
Wach was a man of few words on Tuesday.
“We know that ‘Big Baby’ Miller is a strong fighter, a big heavyweight,” Wach said through a translator. “But he hasn’t met a heavyweight like me. And Nov. 11, it’ll be war.”