Jarrell, From Belize to Brooklyn Was Tough
Last night we had
part one of our interview with Jarrell Big Baby Miller - the #2 ranked contender
for the world heavyweight title - who's also a proud Belizean. In part two
of our interview, Miller talks about growing up in Belize City - and then
migrating to Brooklyn, New York at the age of 6. He says the transition
was a sharp and tough learning curve:â€¦
Growing Up: Belize
Jarrell Miller - World Heavyweight Contender
"You could see the difference in poverty line depending on, you know, where you
live and where you stay at and how your family, you know, the way they move. In
Belize it's a lot more different. It's like you know, you might feel you're
poor, but you don't feel it inside you know emotionally, because you know all
your family's together, you eat dinner together, you go to school together, your
cousin down the block, your aunty down the block, everybody have fun, you know,
it's a different vibe, when you're on an island, or when you're in a Caribbean
country, but like in New York, it's totally different, you have to take trains,
you have to take buses, you have food stamps....and emotionally it changes kids.
Kids act differently when they come to the states from when you live in
Belize, and you know it taught me a lot, but it made me kind of like hard at the
same. Kind of like an M & M, soft on the outside, but hard on the outside, yeah.
Always Knew Boxing Was The Thing
"Even since I was four or five years old, I've always known I was gonna box.
Always known I was gonna box.
But I got into kickboxing. But I
didn't know when I was gonna start to box. I just knew that I always loved to
fight, but I didn't when that was gonna happen and kickboxing was the start of
David Diamante - Ring Announcer
"He was a big kid with a big heart and Jarrell, he's always had a great
attitude, and he's always worked hard, and he's been really tough. I've seen,
I've announced a lot of his fights, so I got to see him progress and grow as a
fighter and as a man. And I just watched him grow, and he's had some really big
fights and he's really grown, and now he's one of the top heavyweights in the
"Jarrell's been fighting for a long time, so he's seen a lot of things.
Jarrell's dangerous and I think they know that, and that's why it's going to be
a little bit hard for him to get that big fight, because he's dangerous and they
might be scared that, you know, they're going to lose the strap to a guy like
him. But I see him as world champion, without a doubt."
A Belizean In Brooklyn
"You live a fairly regular life for a Belizean American, apart from the fact
that you are a world class fighter. Explain to me how you carry that with you,
that Belizean-ness, it's in you."
"Yeah, for sure, because I was raised around my family, who's mostly Belizean,
you know, so it's like down the block it's my Aunt Marion, who's literally a
mile away, and then my other uncle and aunt is two miles away, you know. I got
my momma who is still in Queens, who is about four or five miles away, So my
family is not that far from me, which I'm lucky to have. So should anything, God
forbid, happen, I can always get a plate of food down the block."
Love Affair With Belizean Food
"So I think being big and eating Johnny cake for breakfast is what I need and
that's what's been getting me there and getting me these wins and staying true
to my roots."
"When you came to Belize, when you landed on Sunday what was the first thing you
wanted to eat?"
"Actually, I wanted meatpie but we got Chiney Fired Chicken, Friendship, you
know, we gone lick off two plate of that real quick. You know we go to chiney
man shop and grab some lee groceries and candies and snack, you know. Things you
can't find. We had the gibnut too. Yeah, I forgot about the gibnut! They call me
the King rat eater, now (laughs)."
Not Becoming "The Broke Boxer"
opened up my first martial arts school when I was 20, and I'm on my second one
now, I started at 27, which is in Astoria, Queens, New York.
And my next goal is investing in a lot of property and land and working
on a real estate, land kind of thing in New York right now.
But also investing in Belize. You know, there are some things that I've
seen that I feel like can make money but also give back to the people of Belize
as well too, which I'm looking into. I feel that every cheque that I get, you
put some aside, you have a little fun with and you invest some of it. Every
cheque you have to do that. Because eventually you know, I can't fight forever,
so next thing is, you know, maybe I might harvest coconut water, you never know,
"And, he's a smart guy, you listen to him he has a lot to say and I love that
about him, so when I hear him it makes me proud. Big up to you on that one."
Jarrell's Message For Kids
"You know, Jarrell, he's got a big heart as far as a fighter, but he also has a
big heart as far as giving. And it's
a really big part of his program that he wants to give back."
"And the main thing is just having faith, and going towards your goals, doesn't
matter if I sold coconut water today, you might have to sell coconut water
tomorrow. The main thing is to stay focused and believe in yourselfand try to
surround yourself with kids that admire and have same views as you because if
you have one kid that likes to smoke and drink that's a far away from your
goals, so hang out with the other kid selling coconut water that has ambition
and you have a goal in mind and the main thing is having faith and believing in
god because anything is possible when you have god but if not you gonna be
sorry, so believe."
Miller is in
Belize with his family on vacation. World renowned Ring Announcer David
Diamante is accompanying him. They are being hosted by his brother in law, City
Councillor Jason Edwards - who is showing him the sights.