Carlos Takam replaces Jarrell Miller against Jerry Forrest

Jul 1, 2020

Steve KimESPN

Heavyweight Carlos Takam will face Jerry Forrest in a 10-round heavyweight fight in the main event of a Top Rank on ESPN card on July 9 at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.

Takam replaces Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, who was scheduled to face Forrest before being pulled for failing a pre-fight drug test.

“[Takam] lives in Henderson [Nevada], and he’s been training for several months according to his promoter, Joe DeGuardia,” Carl Moretti, vice president of boxing operation for Top Rank, told ESPN. “So for a change we caught a bit of luck and was able to replace Miller versus Forrest.”

Takam (38-5-1, 28 KOs) is a seasoned veteran who has faced some of the best fighters in the division. He has losses to Anthony Joshua, Dereck Chisora, Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin, but has wins against Tony Thompson and Michael Grant, among others.

Lou DiBella, Forrest’s promoter, is happy the fight was rescheduled quickly.

“It would’ve been a real, real hit to him to have this fight canceled,” DiBella told ESPN. “Really, I want to give props to Top Rank, too. Their immediate instinct was that this kid did nothing wrong, and he should stay on the card.

“It’s a real good crossroads fights. The winner of this fight is probably going to get a real big opportunity, and it’s a big step back for the loser, and for Takam it could be the end.”

The 39-year-old Takam is riding a three-fight winning streak, while Forrest (26-3, 20 KOs) has won 19 of his previous 20 bouts.

The co-feature will be a 10-round junior lightweight bout between Carlos Castro and Cesar Juarez.

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Jarrell Miller says he has never willingly taken a steroid to enhance performance

Three days after failing a drug test and having his July 9 fight against Jerry Forrest canceled, Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller made his first public comments about the failure, pushing back against the allegations.

“I have never, ever willingly taken a steroid for performance-enhancing purposes,” Miller told Fight Network. “Did I take something for healing properties, for injuries? Yes, I have. But to win a fight and during a training camp? No, I have never done that.

“Nobody can be more outraged than me,” he said of the allegations. “I’m the one that’s lost millions of dollars. I’m the one that’s had his career on the line. … But I have to think about it with a straight mind. I have to figure it out. Sit down with my team. Get everything in order and get everything done in the right way.”

Miller stated repeatedly that his team is going through a legal process and that, ultimately, the facts surrounding this situation will be released. He believes he listed the contaminated substance on a form that is submitted to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association as part of the testing process.

2 Related

The most recent drug test failure is another in a growing line of infractions for Miller. Last year, Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs) was scheduled to face unified heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden in New York, but he lost that opportunity as he tested positive for the banned substance GW1516 with a urine test conducted by the VADA in March 2019. Further tests revealed HGH and IPO. In total, Miller failed three drug tests prior to his scheduled bout with Joshua.

At the time, Miller’s request for a boxing license was denied by the New York State Athletic Commission, and he was eventually given a six-month suspension by the WBA. Miller has not fought since. The last time Miller performed in the ring was in November 2018, when he stopped Bogdan Dinu in four rounds.

Miller was also suspended for nine months in 2014 for methylhexaneamine, during his days as a kickboxer.

In January, Miller agreed to a co-promotional deal to fight under the Top Rank banner, and the July 9 fight was to be his debut for the promotion. As he reflected on the current situation, Miller apologized to those who had given him another chance.

“I’ve done my research and homework to do my best to not make this happen, and all I can do is apologize to Bob Arum, apologize to Jay [Prince],” he said. “But at the same time, I did do my homework. I did put my best foot forward. I did let VADA know of certain circumstances. I did my part as a human being and as a fighter …”

While the details are sorted out and Miller is now temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, some have called for the permanent revocation of Miller’s boxing license. Miller was adamant that a permanent suspension would be excessive in this case.

“I should not be banned [for life],” he said. “I’m prepared to accept my suspension and be willing to do my monthly testing [during] my suspension, but to be banned for life? You’re out of your mind.

“It’s sad. I’m angry about it, but like I said, there is an explanation for it, and me and my legal team are working on it.”

ESPN’s Steve Kim contributed to this report.

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Rangers sign ex-Wisconsin defenseman K’Andre Miller

K’Andre Miller has officially joined the New York Rangers after two seasons with the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team.

The 20-year-old defenseman has signed an entry-level contract with the Rangers that begins in the 2020-21 season. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound native of St. Paul, Minnesota, was selected No. 22 overall in the 2018 NHL entry draft. He had 40 points in 62 NCAA appearances, including 18 points in 36 games this season for the Badgers. Miller played in the IIHF World Junior Championship in each of the past two years (2019 and 2020).

The Rangers are high on the left-handed defenseman’s potential, which was one of the reasons they were comfortable dealing 25-year-old blueliner Brady Skjei to the Carolina Hurricanes at last month’s trade deadline.

Miller is the second recent Wisconsin star to turn pro with years of eligibility remaining. Center Alex Turcotte signed an entry-level deal with the Los Angeles Kings that will also begin in the 2020-21 season.

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