By Ian S Palmer
Undefeated heavyweight Jarrell Miller will be taking on fellow American Fred Kassi at the outdoor Rhinos Stadium in Rochester, New York this Friday in a showdown between the two prospects. The 10-round bout can be seen live in the USA on the Showtime Network. Miller’s last fight took place in May when he beat Nick Guivas by a second-round stoppage. Kassi’s last outing was a seventh-round technical decision loss to England’s Hughie Fury in April. Miller is hoping to get past Kassi and eventually get a shot at IBF Champion Anthony Joshua of England. Kassi, who was born in Cameroon, Africa has fought 110 rounds since turning pro in 2003 while Miller has 51 rounds under his belt since 2009. This bout is for Miller’s WBO NABO Title.
The 28-year-old Miller of Brooklyn, New York will enter the ring with a near-perfect record of 17-0-1 along with 15 Kos while the 36-year-old Kassi of New Orleans, Louisiana is 18-5-1 and has 10 Kos to his name. Miller is a decent-sized heavyweight at 6-feet-4-inches tall with a reach of 78 inches. He’s a former kickboxer who is ranked eighth in the world by the WBO, ninth by the WBA and 14th by the IBF. He’s got better-than-average power as his knockout ratio currently stands at 83 per cent. He’s also knocked out his last half dozen opponents. However, he hasn’t fought any top-ranked foes as of yet as his wins have been against boxers such as Akhror Muralimov and Donovan Dennis. Miller’s draw was a four-round affair against Joey Dawelko in 2013.
Kassi gives up quite a bit in size as he’s just 6-feet tall and has a wingspan of 74 inches. He doesn’t have too much in the way of power either as his current knockout ratio is 42 per cent. However, where he does have the edge over Miller is in the experience department. Kassi has taken on some recognizable names in the heavyweight division such as Hughie Fury, Amir Mansour and Dominic Breazeale. He also managed to fight to controversial draw last summer with Chris Arreola, a three-time world title challenger. However, other than Arreola, Kassi has lost all of his fights when stepping up in class and was also beaten by Lionel Butler and Kendrick Releford. He’s got a decent chin though as Mansour was the only opponent to stop him, which he did in the seventh round in 2014.
Miller has all the advantages such as age, size and power, but he’s stepping up in class here. Kassi is a durable boxer, but doesn’t really have the power to keep the bigger Miller at bay. Miller’s aggressiveness should enable him to take a points win or a late stoppage victory, but he can’t be too confident and wild. If he gets overanxious he could walk into a solid shot or two.