Big Baby Miller, Parker reportedly reject offer to face Oleksandr Usyk

Dillian Whyte may not know who Oleksandr Usyk is, but two other heavyweight contenders apparently knew enough about him to reject an offer to fight.

Jarrell Miller and Joseph Parker have reportedly turned down an opportunity to fight Usyk, according to his promoter, Alexander Krassyuk.

Miller is a candidate to face unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua on April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London, so his rejection is not that surprising.

Usyk (16-0, 12 KO's), 31, of Ukraine, is one of boxing's top pound-for-pound boxers, and the current undisputed cruiserweight world champion.

Krassyuk also went on to say that there was a 70 percent chance that Usyk will make his highly-anticipated move up to the heavyweight division and face either Alexander Povetkin or Luis Ortiz.

Povetkin (34-2, 24 KO's) is never an easy fight. The 2004 Olympic super-heavyweight gold medalist, whose only loss until September was against all-time great Wladimir Klitschko, was arguably outboxing the aforementioned Joshua, until he was knocked out in the seventh round. The same can be said about Ortiz (30-1, 26 KO's), a former interim champion who unsuccessfully challenged WBC beltholder Deontay Wilder in March 2017. Despite coming up short by a 10th-round stoppage, Ortiz had the champion out on his feet in the seventh. Ortiz ended his amateur career with a record of 343-19.

Usyk, who won the heavyweight gold medal at the 2012 Olympic games in London, beat Krzysztof Glowacki -- in Poland -- to win the cruiserweight world title in just his 10th professional fight. The victory broke the division record set by all-time great Evander Holyfield, who won the WBA cruiserweight title in his 12th pro bout. Holyfield has been widely regarded as the greatest cruiserweight of all-time, but after a historic 2018 campaign, Usyk has rightfully earned a spot in the conversation.

Usyk won the Muhammad Ali Trophy as the victor of the eight-man World Boxing Super Series tournament to become the undisputed cruiserweight champion, and defeated all three of his opponents in their home countries. He also became just the third undisputed champion in the four-belt era since 2004, joining Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, and top pound-for-pound elite Terence Crawford.

In January, Usyk defeated Mairis Briedis in his hometown of Riga, Latvia, in January and won a very close majority decision to unify two belts and advance to the WBSS finals. Briedis was the more accurate puncher during the bout, but Usyk's punch volume and activity were just enough to propel him to the win.

Usyk traveled to Moscow for the WBSS final in July against then-two-belt titleholder Murat Gassiev and put on a boxing clinic to unify all four titles by unanimous decision.

Usyk also returned in November to defend his belts against former champion Tony Bellew, who had been fighting as a heavyweight for two fights, but came down in weight to face Usyk. The first half of the fight was close, but Usyk started to walk down Bellew, and scored a one-punch knockout in the eighth round.

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