Eddie Hearn: Principle Over Profit!
In the rough and tumble world of professional boxing, controversy is just as common as black eyes. Whether fighters are shaking up the public verbally, by avoiding fights, or committing zany behavior outside of the ring, there is often no telling what will happen next in the world of professional prizefighting.
Sadly, one very consistent source of controversy is when boxers find themselves ensnared in the act cheating. These days, fighters getting caught up for using performance enhancing drugs appears to be the preferred method of breaking the rules.
At the moment heavyweight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller is something of the current poster boy for PED cheats.
THE PRESIDENT OF PED USERS
Back in April of 2019 Miller, testing would find not one, not two, but three different illegal substances in his system. He had just landed the biggest and most lucrative fight of his career against UK superstar Anthony “AJ” Joshua. Apparently he wanted every edge possible, legal or illegal, to win the bout.
Ironically, in the brief build-up to the fight, Miller boldly accused Joshua of doping in the UK.
Once the news of his bold and very brazen acts of treachery became public knowledge, Miller understandably forfeited his chance to face Joshua in the ring. Despite his over-the-top rule breaking, and the tremendous backlash from the public, Miller was able to land a lucrative contract with Top Rank promotions.
This new deal will not only pay substantially, but see that Big Baby Miller appears on the wildly popular ESPN platform.
NO BLIND EYE HERE
For many throughout the industry, this apparent reward after his slap-on-the-wrist 6-month suspension is a slap in the face of the sport and all the clean boxers within it.
One of those people is Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Promotions. Miller at one point was signed to Matchroom, but this relationship was seriously muddied following the drug scandal.
After his now infamous PED use, Miller would have preferred to re-sign with Hearn’s Matchroom Promotion, as he made public knowledge.
In one face-to-face encounter at a boxing event, Miller laid his head on Eddie Hearn’s shoulder and implored the promoter to let him ‘come home.’ Clearly, Hearn did not find himself in a forgiving mood.
In a recent interview with SecondsOut, Hearn doubled down on his not working with Miller, as well as his disappointment in the overall lack of consequences for his actions.
“I wish him all the best. I mean he was desperate to sign with us, I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it! I didn’t feel right. I know I can be hypocritical at times but this guy failed three drug tests, for three different supplements.
“Well it’s not even supplements, injecting it in his ass, you know, stone-cold cheating and there was no ban.
“But it’s over, it’s done! I wish him all the best, you know? I will always shake his hand and smile at him. But I felt like he let me down and he let boxing down and he tried to cheat in a fight against Anthony Joshua, who is my friend and client.
“I couldn’t do it, I could not do it! As much as there’s some great fights out there for him, the Joshua fight, the Dillian Whyte fight, it didn’t sit right to basically encourage this.
“And that’s what they’ve done by giving him a new contract. A big contract, coming off the back of the failed test of three substances. But line in the sand, I wish Big Baby Miller all the best. Respect to him, god bless, good night, see you soon.”
By: Bakari Simpson