“Big Baby” Crushes Donovan Dennis

By Robert Ecksel on January 23, 2016
“Big Baby” Crushes Donovan Dennis
“He got tired, my boxing skills jumped in, and I took him out.” (Esther Lin/SHOWTIME)

Jarrell Miller is still a work in progress. He may be a diamond in the rough, but he is big, he is bad, and he punches with authority…

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 vacant WBA/NABA heavyweight title Friday night at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona.

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. He may be a diamond in the rough, but he is big, he is bad, and he punches with authority.

Dennis, fighting out of the blue corner in white trunks, was more mobile than Miller and used the ring to his advantage, even though the ring was a minuscule 16-feet, making advantages harder to come by than usual.

Miller dropped Dennis twice in the first round to set the tone 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 used his jab and aimed for the roll of flab 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 Miller’s body. “Big Baby” 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. Miller has a solid beard and staggered Dennis with two rights at the bell to salvage the round.

The tide had turned as the bell rang to start round five. Dennis had had his moments, but those moments grew fewer as the fight progressed and Miller’s uppercuts found 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 that lay ahead.

Dennis got the worst of an accidental headbutt to start things off in the seventh. He was bleeding from a cut above his left eye, as well as from his nose and mouth. Appearances can be deceiving, but it appeared as if Dennis was finished. Miller connected with a bone-crunching 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” let it all hang out.

“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!”

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. Eric 02:50pm, 01/23/2016

    Irish…If Quarry would have been blessed with Cooney’s physical attributes, he would have been quite the fighter. Cooney was so afraid of losing that it paralyzed him in his fights with Holmes and Spinks. Still, Cooney gave a pretty good account of himself against Holmes, but to this day, I can’t see how in the hell he blew the Spinks fight.  Fighters were much better off in the days when losing a fight wasn’t the end of the world. Being “undefeated” is extremely overrated and USUALLY means that your competition is somewhat suspect.

  2. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 12:50pm, 01/23/2016

    Eric-The only times Jerry really disappointed was with Chuvalo and Ellis….there never should have been a Norton fight or returns with Frazier and Ali which were the result of the ultra liberal sports media’s Great White Hope hype/shit which was really meant to demean Jerry and put extra pressure on him while giving extra incentive to his Sixties/Seventies race conscious opponents….the same shit they pulled on Cooney….neither guy could have cared less about any such horse shit! Fair enough on your assessment of Rocky/Jerry.

  3. Eric 11:58am, 01/23/2016

    Irish… Quarry was also trowin’ Chuvalo a beatin’ until that bizarre ending. Even in his loss to Norton, an out of shape Quarry had his moments. Norton was really teeing off on Jerry in the last 2 rounds but you had the feeling that things could’ve been different if it was an in shape, younger version of Quarry fighting Norton instead of the shopworn, bloated 1975 version. Quarry vs. Marciano? I have to go with Rocky on that one though. Quarry wasn’t a great deal bigger than Marciano and both weren’t blessed with the thickest skin. Quarry, while a good puncher, doesn’t have the power or the strength to go toe to toe with Marciano, and usually Jerry always wanted to slug when he should have boxed,  the Lyle fight being an exception. However, I like Quarry over Ingo.

  4. Eric 11:15am, 01/23/2016

    Irish… Jerry would have been champion had he fought in the Marciano era. Had Jerry been around during the Floyd/Ingo years, he would have been champ as well. Jerry would have surely beat the guys that challenged for Floyd’s title the first time around, including Ingo. Quarry would have held the title until some guy named Sonny Liston came on the scene. I was looking at some of the guys that LeDoux fought, guys like Foreman, Norton, Holmes, Lyle, Coetzee, Bruno, Greg Page, and decent fighters like Marty Monroe, Dino Denis, Duane Bobick, etc. The guy fought just about everybody.

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:35am, 01/23/2016

    Eric-Earnie Shavers (6’ 215) TKO 1, Ron Lyle (6’3” 220) UD 12 (actually beat the fuk out of Ron), Mac Foster (6’2” 220) KO 6, Buster Mathis (6’3” 240) (won 10 of 12 and beat up and boxed the shit out of Buster), Thad Spencer (5’11” 200) TKO 12 (actually ruined Thad who for a change was about the same size). This is what shows up on Jerry Quarry’s resume…..do you or anyone here on the boxing history channel for that matter, believe for a minute that Rocky could have survived that line up with his “0” in tact?

  6. Eric 07:19am, 01/23/2016

    Looking at the abbreviated record of Big Baby that came with this article and it is hard to believe that he has reached contender status. Just check out the short list of Big Baby’s most recent opponents and their respective records. To be fair, this type of matchmaking was common with legendary heavies like Marciano, Foreman, Holmes, Tyson, etc. I was truly amazed at the records of some of the fighters that Marciano beat on his way to the title. Then you look at the record of a fighter like Scott Ledoux or a Scrap Iron Johnson, neither of these fighters will ever be mistaken for being great fighters, but both fought just about every big name around during their day. Guaranteed, if Marciano had fought some of the men Ledoux or Scrap Iron fought, he wouldn’t have gone 49-0, with 43 knockouts.

Leave a comment