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Why “Big Baby” Miller’s drug failures should make you mad

Heavyweight contender Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller failed three drug tests last week, making his world title bout for six million dollars against Anthony Joshua, null and void, effective immediately.

Performance-enhancing drugs are a tricky subject, mostly because most people including myself are uneducated on the effects of these drugs, and have also become cynical in the process of good faith in the process of drug testing. Yet, as we, the fans, have seen our hearts grow colder, the drug testing bodies, especially VADA, have gotten more strategic, smarter and effective.

Miller failed three different tests, first for GW1516, then later that week he was found with HGH (human growth hormone) and EPO in his system as well. These seem like just big words, but they are more than that, let me explain.

First off, GW1516, is not something you can buy over the counter or that would be mixed into something in a cheap nutrition supplement. GW1516 is something that exists mainly as an injectable, that not only is a red flag, as Miller was more than likely injecting, a banned substance, which would also tell me he knows he is cheating or doing something less than honest.

As for the others he was caught for; HGH is known for rapid muscle development, whereas EPO is known for a massive cardio boast, in short, Miller was chemically making himself into a massive man, with boasted cardio. Essentially, he was becoming something that didn’t seem possible without the aid of expensive banned substances and beyond it not being fair from a competition standpoint, it is also wrong, in my opinion in a moral standpoint as well.

Miller’s style is based on being big, walking opponents down and having a high punch output to stop them. The scary thing is – A LOT of this style can be accredited to the use of drugs, though not entirely, a good portion of the effectiveness of his ability to dominate matches come from conditioning and strength over flat-out skill.

Oh – but wait there is more. Miller failed a drug test in California in 2014 for dimethylamylamine after a professional kickboxing bout, a cardio boaster, similar to some of the drugs he failed for, though dimethylamylamine can appear in over the counter supplements. This adds a big red flag to most of his accomplishments.

Now let’s look at two bouts that disturb me in hindsight, first – his brutal KO of Donovan Dennis.

What is troubling about this knockout is how Dennis at the end of the bout is seemingly helpless taking extra punches that could have changed Dennis’ life. Sure the referee should have done a better job, but in hindsight, and questioning whether Miller was clean for this bout, which we can neither say yay or nay for disturbs me.

The second bout would be Gerald Washington, who outboxed Miller early, but couldn’t keep up with Miller’s size and aggression along with punch output, all of which could be accredited to these chemicals that he failed for. I am not saying Miller was on these drugs, since we don’t know, but we have reasonable suspicion and the brutal nature of the wins, are troubling.

So what is next?

Miller will fight again, and more than likely at some point with lax drug testing. As ethical boxing people, is this right? Is this something you have to understand when navigating boxing, that boxing like life, isn’t fair?

It feels like a buzzkill, because sadly as drugs get better, someone will get very hurt from someone who takes a banned substance, and that is awful.

What the high profile loss of a major second quarter fight between Anthony Joshua versus Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller taught us is that at least the testing can catch fighters at the highest level.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle