Heavyweight boxer Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller said “my heart is bleeding right now,” in an Instagram video post responding to failing three drug tests that has cost him a June 1 title shot at three-belt champion Anthony Joshua and $4.875 million in purse money.
Brooklyn’s Miller (23-0-1, 20 knockouts) earlier this week saw his application for a license to fight England’s Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) denied by the New York State Athletic Commission over a March 20 test that was positive for the banned endurance-boosting, fat-trimming substance GW1516.
ESPN.com first reported Friday that Miller also was found to have strength-building human growth hormone, banned stamina-building EPO and more GW1516 in follow-up blood and urine tests taken by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Assn. on March 31.
“A lot can be said right now. I’m going to get straight to the point. I messed up. I made a bad call. There’s a lot of ways to handle a situation. I handled it wrongly and I’m paying the price for it. I missed out on a big opportunity,” Miller said in a remorseful tone in the video posted Friday.
“Fighters, we go through a lot. I don’t want to make a bad name for ourselves. It’s time to do right and get right.”
The New York commission isn’t planning further disciplinary action against Miller beyond denying his license. But it’s believed that wherever he seeks to fight again, the local boxing authority would take his multiple positive test results into consideration.
Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn is expected to select a new opponent for his fighter next week, with candidates including Hearn’s recent addition, Van Nuys-born Michael Hunter (16-1, 11 KOs) and Cuba’s Luis Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs).
Considering that unbeaten WBC champion Deontay Wilder (May 18) and lineal champion Tyson Fury (June 15) already have fight dates secured, Ortiz, 40, stands as the most qualified candidate, but individuals connected to his Premier Boxing Champions promotional company indicate Ortiz can earn the same type of money Miller was to earn by waiting for a rematch with Wilder.
Hunter’s only loss came in 2017 to unified cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, who makes his heavyweight debut May 25 against Carlos Takam in Maryland.
Heavyweight Manuel Charr’s manager, Christian Jager, said in a statement Saturday that the former title challenger was also in the running to be Joshua’s opponent.
“We are definitely on the shortlist. There are a lot of different factors for Eddie and Anthony and their teams to consider,” Jager said. “They know we want this fight. The ball’s in their court.”
Charr (31-4, 17 KOs) lost a 2012 title shot against Vitali Klitschko.