Too much, too soon for Mladen Miljas? We’re about to find out
On December 1, ‘Monster’ Mladen Miljas gets his first opportunity at a significant boxing championship when he challenges Dillon Carman for the Canadian heavyweight title in Niagara Falls.
But only seven fights and 16 months into his professional boxing career, it’s worth asking: is this too much too soon for the 25-year-old phenomenon?
“There's a lot of gain for Mladen right now,” said Lee Baxter of Lee Baxter Promotions, promoter for Miljas. “This time a year from now, there might not be.”
“Because of how quickly I'm moving him along, I think if the fight wasn't made within Dillon's next fight, with how infrequent he's fighting, I think Mladen would surpass Dillon if it wasn't made at this point,” Baxter added. “This time next year, Dillon might have one more fight and Mladen might have six.”
Miljas has run through each of his counterparts to date, dismantling each of them with the kind of athleticism and power rarely seen in a modern-day heavyweight, especially on the Canadian fight scene.
His most recent fight was in October, a third-round stoppage over Oswaldo Ortega (3-5). More impressive was his August victory over Hector Aguilar (7-2), who he stopped in the first round.
All seven of MIljas’ fights have been stopped by the end of the third round, a blessing and a curse in the boxing world.
On one hand, the quick knockouts are flashy and effective, they help a fighter avoid injury and allow him to get back in the ring quickly. They also endear a fighter to the fanbase. On the other, Miljas has a career total of 12 professional boxing rounds in his seven fights. That doesn’t evoke confidence that Miljas will be able to last all eight rounds at a high pace.
That isn’t to suggest he’ll gas out, we simply just don’t know to expect. What does Miljas look like in the sixth round of an eight-round fight? What does he look like in the eighth round?
Baxter admits it hasn’t been easy to match Miljas, which is part of the reason for the significant jump up in class.
“No matter what, it's going to be difficult to match Mladen,”Baxter said. “The more wins he gets, it's just going to keep getting harder and harder.”
Baxter is right; there aren’t a lot of fighters in the heavyweight division for a young prospect to face. And with Baxter having world title aspirations for Miljas and many in his stable, Carman will be a good barometer of where Miljas is at.
If he can get a victory over Carman, it will be a coming out party for the Mississauga resident. He will skyrocket up the international boxing rankings, not to mention what it would do for him here in Canada. Overnight, he could become the biggest star in Canadian heavyweight boxing.
It's not going to be that easy, however. Carman has nearly four times as many professional boxing rounds in his career, and double as many fights. He’s been in there with significantly tougher opposition.
He knows what it’s like to go eight hard rounds and to come out on top.
For Miljas, it’s the toughest fight of his young career. A win makes him a star, a loss sends him back to the drawing board.
“I'm the type of guy that is trying to build a world champion, so if my guy can't beat a local guy, we know where we stand,” Baxter said.
We’re about to find out where Miljas stands.