Jerry Forrest was ready to step into the ring with Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller on Thursday in Las Vegas. Those plans blew up when Miller, in his attempt to return to the ring for the first time since costing himself $5 million and a shot at Anthony Joshua's share of boxing's heavyweight world championships after a failed drug test, again tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and was pulled from the fight.
To Forrest (26-3, 20 KO), Miller should now be bounced from boxing for good, calling his repeated use of performance-enhancing drugs "attempted murder."
"We're punching people in the head here," Forrest told BoxingScene. "This isn't a scandal. This is real life, attempted murder. You can kill someone with a blow to the head. If you're on a PED and you're giving someone a blow to the head, that is attempted murder. You're using a foreign [substance] in a combat sport. To me, that's unacceptable. I can never accept that."
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Stepping in to face Forrest is Carlos Takam (38-5-1, 28 KOs), a veteran who has wins over Tony Thompson and Michael Grant but has come up short in big fights with Anthony Joshua, Dereck Chisora, Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin.
According to Top Rank, they were fortunate to land Takam for the fight, with the veteran already training over the past few months and in shape to take a bout on short notice.
Forrest will be fighting for the second time since losing to Jermaine Franklin in July 2019. His last fight was a get-right victory over Martez Williamson, who entered the fight with a 3-25-1 record. The loss to Franklin was questionable, at best, with the more-hyped Franklin arguably being gifted a win over Forrest, who was brought in to play the role of "opponent."
There are five fights on the docket for Thursday night, including a super bantamweight matchup of Carlos Castro and Cesar Juarez. Castro is an undefeated prospect at 25-0 with 10 KOs and coming off a majority decision win in February. Juarez, meanwhile, boasts a 25-8 mark with 19 KOs to his name. He's coming off a TKO loss in December and is 5-3 since 2018.
Plus, Joshafat Ortiz takes on Joshua Orta in a super featherweight featured bout. Ortiz is 7-0 with four knockouts in his young career while Orta boasts a 6-0 record that includes two knockouts.
Takam vs. Forrest card, odds
Carlos Takam -160
Jerry Forrest +135
Carlos Castro n/a
Cesar Juarez n/a
Joshafat Ortiz n/a
Joshua Orta n/a
Fred Wilson Jr. n/a
Donte Stubbs n/a
Peter Cortez n/a
Corey Champion n/a
Takam has been around the heavyweight block a time or two, and certainly has a better resume on paper. Forrest's fight with Franklin showed some potential for him to be a player within the B-tier of heavyweights, but a quick run through his resume shows a 32-year-old who has lost every one of his step-up fights and whose wins have come almost exclusively against fighters with losing records or fighters in the 9-6, 6-4 range. If Takam has actually been training, as Top Rank claims, this could be a good night for him. But Forrest does have the skills to pull off a win over the 39-year-old Takam if the favorite is off his game. Pick: Takam via SD
Who wins Takam vs. Forrest? And what was the oddsmakers' mistake? Visit SportsLine now to see Peter Kahn's best bets for Thursday, all from the fight game manager who's 10-0 on boxing picks since the sport returned.