Miller, who resides near the Barclays Center, was on his home turf on Saturday night in the Brooklyn arena.
Early on during round six in the biggest fight of his boxing life, Miller took about a dozen blows to the head within a 20-second span from his 6-foot-6 opponent, even reeling after the couple impactful hook shots, seemingly showing signs of anguish.
But Miller, who also has a 21-2 record as a professional kick boxer, dropped his hands, smirked, and shook his head, as if to say “you can’t hurt me.”
Washington went back to work and Miller, who had been up on two-of-three scorecards prior to round six, covered up immediately.
Over two minutes later, in the final 15 seconds of the round, Miller emphatically matched, if not exceeded, Washington’s initial onslaught, landing about ten clean shots, pin-balling his heavyweight foe’s head.
After two more rounds of endured punishment, Washington’s corner decided that enough was enough, stopping the fight after eight rounds, which was inside of the scheduled ten. This dropped Washington’s record to 18-2-1 (13 KOs), while improving Miller’s record to 19-0-1 (17 KOs).
“I’m hungry right now. I want to get a cheeseburger in, I’ve been thinking about ice cream for the last week and a half,” said Miller in the post-fight press conference. “Gerald was definitely a tough fight for me coming back from an 11-month layoff. Like I said before, I’m a warrior.”
Miller, who spent about 20 minutes with the press, said he was looking to visit Washington afterward to check up on his opponent, whom he defeated in a significant fight for both blossoming careers.
“I’m a killer in that ring, but outside I’m just a big softie,” he said. “I like playing in the sandbox. Once you sign that contract, I’m gonna kick your butt.”
Miller, who has been the subject of (now-resolved) promotional issues, which has affected his level of activity in the sport of boxing since his 2009 debut, hopes to make a relatively quick return to the ring, continuing his ascent up the heavyweight rankings.
At 29 years of age, the time is now.
“We were hearing about fights in November, but the way I function my brain, I couldn’t even tell you what I was going to do after this fight,” said Miller. “I kind of killed myself physically and mentally until after this fight. Nothing mattered to me until Gerald was out the way.”
However, Miller did mention a possible spot on the undercard of an upcoming Deontay Wilder title defense as the next step. A win in that spot would surely place him in the mix for a shot at Wilder’s WBC World Title, which he has held since winning the strap in January 2015.
Elsewhere on the card, Irish sensation, gold-medalist and rising star Katie Taylor improved to 6-0 (4 KO’s) with the dismantling of her foe, Jasmine Clarkson, in a round-three TKO. Rau’shee Warren decisioned McJoe Arroyo, improving to 15-2 (4 KOs), while New York natives Noel Murphy and George Arias also picked up decision wins.
In the co-feature, Jermall Charlo kicked off the live Showtime broadcast with a fourth-round TKO win over Jorge Sebastian Heiland, improving to 26-0 (20 KOs).
“After I dropped him the first time, they said he fell on top of his ankle,” said Charlo after the fight. “That’s just part of the boxing game, I had to just stay consistent and get the work done. I’m ready for the next level.”
Finally, in the main event, Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) defeated the talkative Adrien Broner (33-3, 24 KOs), whose stock continues to plummet, on points, unanimously.
“At the end of the day I’m still A-B,” insisted Broner after the loss. “I’m still about billions, I’m still ‘The Can Man.’ I’m still a four-time world champion at four different weight classes, and I’ll still be in the history books.”