It’s been an eventful week or so in the boxing world both in and out of the ring. As I’m sure many readers now know, last week Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller failed a random Voluntary Anti Doping Association (VADA for short) drug test and in the past week has subsequently failed a further test for up to possibly three different substances. The names of those substances are quite hard to spell and I have no absolutely no idea what they are to any exact detail. However they are rumored to be steroid type substances that need to be injected to be fully effective. So drug cheating in boxing has reared its ever ugly head once more, this time on the sports biggest stage.
As Miller has now blown the chance of a lifetime (you doubt he will ever get another like it) that was fighting in his home city versus the world champion for a rumoured six plus million dollars. A truly bizarre decision as he surely knew full well he would be tested weekly by the notoriously fail safe VADA testing system yet still decided to try and get a physical edge in order to beat Anthony Joshua. This seemingly warped mindset perhaps reflects the worrying attitudes of a certain amount of fighters in regard to drug testing in the sport. VADA type testing is notoriously too pricey for many promoters to bother with so Miller’s indefensible decision does lead you to wonder how rife cheating in the sport is, especially in less publicised and lower level fights.
Debates on that will run and run yet when it comes to June 1st at Madison Square Gardens Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is currently scrambling to find a decent opponent for Joshua’s first american bout. Understandably, most active heavyweights in the world have been ‘on the blower’ but for the fight to work Joshua will probably have to fight either the Cuban southpaw Luiz Ortiz or an American fighter of whom there are not many who would fit a fight of this profile. So in truth’s Miller’s decision has heavily tarnished what was set to be a fantastic summer night in New York and will now instead now be remembered as the fight Jarrell Miller cheated himself out of.
Speaking of New York and MSG, Amir Khan stepped up to the plate last Saturday evening (some say foolishly so) to face pound for pound nominee Terence Crawford for Crawford’s WBO Welterweight belt. And despite plenty of pre-fight confidence, Khan turned in what can only be described as a fractured performance versus a sublime Crawford. Despite many predicting that Khan would start the faster of the two, he was floored by a flash knockdown at the end of the first round and never really recovered in the fight before things took a turn for the bizarre forty seconds into the sixth.
After a clear low blow by Crawford that seemed to connect with Khan’s upper thigh first before impacting a much more sensitive area Khan immediately turned away in agony before clutching the ropes as the fight was halted. Then followed forty five seconds of utter confusion as the referee apparently offered the standard five minutes to recover from such a blow while asking Khan if he could continue as Khan looked in extreme discomfort. Khan then turned to his trainer Virgil Hunter to discuss whether he could continue and whoever actually made the final call between fighter and trainer, the bout was then called off in a haze of confusion with Crawford eventually winning by TKO.
Obviously being hit by a vicious low blow is extremely unfortunate however the nature of the loss did lead most to the question if Khan quit or not. Something that Crawford himself pressed Khan on in the post fight presser and something that Khan was constantly quizzed on post fight. Khan commented afterwards that he did not know he had five minutes to recover but in any case ‘he couldn’t think straight’ so his trainer decided to stop the fight. It’s difficult to define the line between quitting a fight and not feeling physically able to continue and we will likely never find out if the British fighter mentally threw the towel in or not. Khan stated afterwards he would rather be knocked out cold than quit and looking at Khan’s bumpy career you tend to believe him.
Either way it was another painful step up to world level for Khan in the latter stages of his career that won’t be looked on particularly fondly, as unlike when he was brutally knocked out cold by Canelo Alvarez in 2016, he was not winning on points or in any way versus Crawford . He was instead outclassed by a fighter than didn’t even look to have his foot fully on the pedal. It’s surely time for Khan to bite the bullet and give Kell Brook the fight British fans probably still want to see as in truth both men now seem pretty shot at world level.
Earlier on Saturday evening, social media legend/heavyweight Dave Allen headlined the 02 Arena, which isn’t something I thought I would ever write on thesixyardring, however after finally taking a fight seriously in regard to a full training camp, the ‘White Rhino’ stole the show in London. Facing the dangerous Lucas Browne, who started the fight ominously well, Allen found a left hook counter to the body from the gods to send the Australian Browne to the canvas riving in agony, unable to beat the ten count. It really was a peach of a shot by Allen that showcased his boxing prowess and how he is already making improvements under new trainer Darren Barker.
And his popularity in and out of the ring, now hopefully supplemented by a much more professional approach to his trade, will likely place Allen in more big fight nights in the near future. Allen versus veteran David Price is being rumoured for the July 20 Dillian Whyte/Oscar Rivas card and after that who knows! Maybe it’s time to get on the phone to Eddie Hearn about a possible tear up in the Big Apple sometime soon. Well it sounds a whole lot better than AJ vs Michael Hunter anyway.
If you enjoyed this article or any others on thesixyardring feel free to like/share/RT them or alternatively mention them to friends as you all discuss training up the hardest one in your friendship group and calling Matchroom Boxing up.