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Digital Subscriptions > Boxing News > 30-Jul > AN INNOCENT MAN?


Harry Keitt, the trainer of the disgraced Jarrell Miller, tells Sean Nam his side of the story about the problems he encountered with a man seemingly hell-bent on cheating

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida: Where people go to retire, sportfish for marlin, buy beachfront property, trek the Everglades, knock back pina coladas as they play round after round of canasta until sundown. And if, after a while, the whole scene becomes a bit staid, there is always South Beach, and its glut of limitless nightlife possibilities, just under an hour away.

But to go there to train for a shot at the heavyweight championship of the world? Suffice it to say that trainer Harry Keitt had other places in mind for Jarrell Miller, the burly heavyweight protegé whom he had reared ever since Miller walked into Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn as an unfocused 15-year-old teenager. On the occasion of what was supposed to be Miller’s – no, make that their – greatest moment in the hardest game, a title shot on June 1 at Madison Square Garden against divisional kingpin Anthony Joshua, Keitt figured they needed to hunker down someplace far more discreet, toned-down. But Fort Lauderdale? That was laughable. They were better off staying put in New York, amid the bright lights. At least things were familiar at home. Of course, this was all just wishful thinking on Keitt’s part. It had been ages since he got to call the shots for this squad.

“Don’t ask me why we went there,” Keitt groans as he wraps the hands of one of his white collar trainees on a recent Friday afternoon inside the basement floor of Mendez Boxing Gym in midtown Manhattan. “I tried to tell him ‘let’s go to Colorado Springs. Let’s go to the Olympic training centre where they go that high altitude. We gotta get oxygen into your body.’ All that’s natural. But he didn’t want to go.” So Fort Lauderdale it was, for three months of intense training until the big dance. Keitt would cook all the meals, praying that maybe, just maybe, Miller could get down to 300 pounds by fight night

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DARK DAYS – Reflecting on a grim week in the boxing world INNOCENT? – The former trainer of Jarrell Miller tells his story FEATURES – Michael Conlan and Anthony Fowler open up MUCH, MUCH MORE – Including world title unification action