Friday night at Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona, in a fight televised live on ShoBox: The New Generation, Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (16-0-1, 14 KOs), from Brooklyn, New York, TKO’d Donovan Dennis (14-4, 11 KOs), the southpaw from Davenport, Iowa, at 2:31 of the seventh round to win the Interim WBA/NABA heavyweight title.
Fighting out of the red corner in silver trunks with black trim, and outweighing his opponent by 56 pounds, Miller is still a work in progress. But he is big, he is bad, and he landed punches with bad intentions.
Dennis, fighting out of the blue corner in white trunks, was slicker than Miller and used the ring to his advantage, even though the ring was a minuscule 16-feet, making advantages hard to come by.
Miller dropped Dennis twice in the first round and it looked like it might be over before it started.
Dennis was bleeding from the nose and had no legs at the start of round two, but he had a better round than he had in the first, using his jab and focusing on the excess weight encircling Miller’s midriff.
In round three, the Brooklyn Bomber appeared to be slowing down just as Dennis was speeding up. The underdog began landing combinations upstairs and down. Miller was firing off single shots, lazy punches that sometimes found the mark. The round went to the Iowa native.
Dennis started the fourth by landing three punches to his opponent’s body. Miller countered with a right. Dennis landed a big overhand left that got Miller’s attention, followed by a left to the body and a right to the head. Dennis landed a left. “Big Baby” staggered Dennis with two rights at the bell to salvage the round.
The tide had turned as we entered round five. Dennis had his moments, after Miller shot his wad in the opening round, but those moments grew fewer as the fight progressed and as Miller’s uppercuts began finding the mark.
A low blow in the sixth gave Dennis a much-needed extra minute to recover. It also gave Miller a minute to fill up his talk for the demolition derby ahead.
Dennis got the worst of an accidental headbutt at the start of round seven. He was bleeding from a cut above his left eye, as well as from his nose and mouth. Appearances can be deceiving, but Dennis looked close to being finished. Miller connected with an uppercut, followed by a right hand that landed flush. Dennis retreated to the ropes where Miller unloaded a four-punch combination on the defenseless fighter.
The referee stepped in and not a moment too soon. He threw his arms around Donovan Dennis to save him from more punishment.
After the fight “Big Baby” proved that he not only walks the walk. He also talks the talk.
“This is boxing,” he said. “I knew I was going to get him in the first round, but I popped my shoulder in camp and I did it again. He blocked a good shot. My corner told me, ‘It’s boxing.’ I wanted the knockout so bad. I’m always looking for the knockout no matter who it is. So I boxed, he got a little tired, my boxing skills jumped in, and I took him out later on.
“I felt good. My main thing is my ego and experience is going to learn that sometimes you can’t always knock him out just because you want to. Sometimes you have to box him. So let me box, get the experience, and the knockout came like you see, and on to the next.
“Listen, Charles Martin, I’m coming for you. Deontay Wilder, I’m coming for you Alabama barbecue. Tyson Fury, I’m coming for you. And that Calvin Klein, muffin-eating sucker Anthony Joshua, boy, I’m coming for you.
“Brooklyn in the house!”
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.