It’s looking like Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller won’ be taking the IBF heavyweight title eliminator against Kubrat Pulev after all, which puts Hughie Fury as the next possible option for the Bulgarian to fight. Hughie (21-1, 11 KOs) is ranked #5 by the International Boxing Federation. He’s the next option for the 37-year-old Pulev to fight if Miller (21-0-1, 18 KOs) decides he doesn’t want it.
Hughie fought for a world title in 2017, but he was beaten by WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision. Hughie spent most of the fight running from Parker and clinching in every chance he could get. It was probably one of the worst efforts from a challenger that I’ve ever seen. Hughie looked like he had no intention of trying to win the fight.
Epic Sports recently won the purse bid to put on the Pulev vs. Miller IBF title eliminator. However, after Epic Sports decided to stage the fight in Bulgaria, Miller, 29, is said to have been cool to the idea of taking the fight over there. He wants to fight Pulev, but it would have to be in the U.S, which might not be possible. There’s a lot to gain for Hughie or Miller to face Pulev, as the winner of the fight would be the IBF mandatory challenger to IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs). That would mean life-changing money for them if they became the IBF mandatory. Big Baby’s promoter Dmitry Salita doesn’t want to have Miller come to Bulgaria to fight Pulev. There’s a chance that Miller could face WBA ‘regular’ heavyweight champion Manuel Charr if he doesn’t face Pulev in the IBF title eliminator. Wha is clear is the 300 lb. Miller will NOT be traveling to Bulgaria to fight Pulev. If that fight does take place, it will be in the U.S., and I’m not too certain that Pulev is going to go for the idea of fighting over there.
“Jarrell is interested in a fight with Pulev, but not in Sofia,” Salita said to skysports.com. “We’re still in discussions about that fight. From what I understand, they’ve had some discussions about not doing the fight in the United States. I think there is an openness to it, but obviously they would have to comment on that.”
If Miller doesn’t take the fight with the Bulgarian Pulev, then it will leave it up to Hughie if he wants to step in and face Kubrat. I wish I could say that Hughie will take the fight but I can’t. I don’t see Hughie wanting to risk his hind quarters fighting a guy like Pulev because it’s too risky of a fight for him. Hughie didn’t lift a finger last time to get the title shot against Parker, so I definitely don’t see him doing anything to earn a second title shot. That would be too out of character for Hughie, and I don’t think he would win for a second. Pulev is too good for him.
”I’m happy to welcome Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller to Bulgaria,” Pulev said on his Twitter. ”It will be an opportunity to showcase this exciting heavyweight matchup between us in front of grateful boxing fans!”