Brooklyn heavyweight packs on pounds for Barclays showdown

They don’t call Jarrell Miller “Big Baby” for nothing. The Brooklyn heavyweight weighed in at 304 pounds Friday for Saturday night’s non-title, but very meaningful, showdown with Johann “The Reptile” Duhaupas of France at Barclays Center.

Miller (20-0-1, 18 KOs) and Duhaupas (37-4-0, 24 KOs) meet in a 12-round WBA heavyweight eliminator with the main event featuring former middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs of Brooklyn (33-2, 29 KOs) facing Polish contender Maciej Sulecki (26-0, 10 KOs) in a WBA middleweight eliminator. HBO will televise the two fights, promoted by Matchroom Boxing.

Miller and Jacobs are each hoping a win Saturday night will earn them shots at a world title. Eddie Hearn, the promoter for Matchroom Boxing, has talked about matching Miller with IBF, WBA and WBO champion Anthony Joshua this fall if Joshua can’t make a deal with WBC champion Deontay Wilder. Jacobs would love a rematch with Gennady “Triple-G” Golovkin should he win and Golovkin should defeat Vanes Martirosyan on May 5 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. HBO will televise that fight as well.

“Eddie Hearn has made it known that the fight with Anthony Joshua is a possibility and I’d love to have that fight next after I beat Duhaupas,” Miller said. “I’m coming at Duhaupas like a tornado. It’s lights-out time; plain and simple.”

Miller looked fit at 304 pounds Friday. It’s not all muscle, but there’s plenty of power in his punch.

Miller hasn’t gone the distance since a six-rounder in 2015. He went nine rounds in his last outing in November before stopping Mariusz Wach of Poland. Miller weighed 283 pounds for that fight. It was 15 pounds lighter than he was for Gerald Washington five months earlier.

But Miller called his effort against Wach a “minus-4” and decided he performs better at a heavier weight.

“I went back to basics, heavy lifting and working out and not watching the food so much aside from eating healthy,” he said. “I feel strong. I feel fit. It’s going to be fireworks.”

An impressive showing against Duhaupas would go a long way toward making Miller a viable option should Joshua and Wilder not reach an agreement. Negotiations don’t appear close to being serious as both sides have done most of their talking through the media.

Miller, if he’s in shape, is a good option. He has the gift of gab that attracts attention and having another Brooklyn native fighting for a heavyweight title tugs on the legacies of former champs Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe and Shannon Briggs.

“My main concern is getting the win,” Miller said. “I’m not looking past Duhaupas. My main focus is on him. Eddie Hearn has made claims in the media, but he’s never told me about Anthony Joshua. I’m from Brooklyn. I understand street talk and I understand business. If it’s not on paper it doesn’t mean squat.”

Jacobs is in the same situation, needing a win to remain a title contender. His name surfaced as a last-minute opponent for Golovkin when Triple-G’s initial opponent, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, was pulled from the May 5 bout after testing positive for a banned substance. Jacobs lost a 12-round competitive battle to Golovkin in March 2017.

“I’ve watched Sulecki’s fights,” Jacobs said. “He’s entertaining and with our styles the fans will see a terrific fight at Barclays and on HBO. I’m looking forward to having someone bring out the best in me. I want to be the champion. I want the belts. I want Golovkin next.My job is to stay focused however on Sulecki. Anything after that we we’ll talk about it then.”

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