|Nate ‘Mister’ Miller, Former WBA Cruiserweight Champ Unbeatable In Philly
Interview by Ken Hissner (April 30, 2008) Doghouse Boxing
I recently met Nate 'Mister' Miller, 31-9 (27), at the legendary Blue Horizon. He looked like he could step back into the ring today! The former WBA cruiserweight champ who went 22-0 in Philly rings had some interesting things to say.
KEN HISSNER: Nate, what kind of amateur background did you have?
NATE MILLER: I was the Pennsylvania 1986 state champion, and turned pro that year.
KH: Who were your trainer and manager?
NM: I was trained by Eugene Pearson and Stan Williams. Williams also managed me.
KH: You won your first 13 fights and had some good competition. You beat former amateur champs Dawud Shaw and Woody Clark. Most of your fights were in Philly, including over a dozen at the Blue Horizon.
NM: Yes, I was 22-0 in Philly. I had more than half of them at the Blue.
KH: Your first fight out of town was really out of town in France. It was also your first loss. You fought France’s Boubaker Sanogo (7-2-1 at the time) in October of 1988.
NM: I had a point deducted in the third round and lost by a point.
KH: You returned to Philly and start a five-fight winning streak over some good opponents like Bert Cooper (20-3), Andre McCall (14-3-1) and Michael Greer (41-10-3).
NM: I won the NABF title in stopping Cooper. In the McCall fight, I had my jaw broken in the third round. I hung in there and stopped him in the 7th.
KH: You would then lose your NABF title to James Warring (10-1) who would win the vacant IBF cruiserweight title in his next fight.
NM: I was down in the first round and was seeing stars for the remainder of the fight.
KH: You lost that fight by one and two points probably due to your knockdown. You came back and got a USBA title bout with future IBF champ Al Cole (16-1).
NM: Oh yeah, Al Cole. He had that herkey-jerkey style of his. That was our first fight.
KH: You score a couple of seventh round knockouts including previously unbeaten Jade Scott (14-1). Then you are matched with former WBA cruiser champ Dwight Qawi (39-9-1) at the Blue Horizon.
NM: He moved like a bee. I couldn’t catch up with him though winning the decision.
KH: After winning 5 straight you meet Al Cole again, but for his IBF title this time.
NM: Yes and the outcome was the same. I lost another 12 round decision.
KH: That was in July of 1994. You score a couple knockouts and win the title stopping Orlin Norris (48-5), in London for his WBA title in July of 1995.
NM: It was jubilation like you never felt before.
KH: You make four successful title defenses in 1996 and 1997, all by knockout. In November of 1997 you lose your title on a close decision to Frenchman Fabrice Tiozzo (37-1), the former WBC light heavyweight champ.
NM: This fight was in Las Vegas and two of the judges had it by two points (Judge Fernando Viso had Tiozzo ahead by six points).
KH: You lose in a rematch with Orlin Norris for the IBA super cruiserweight title and to Thomas Hearns (58-4-1) for the IBO cruiserweight title. The Hearns match was in the UK.
NM: Hearns had a hard jab. We had trouble getting paid in the UK but did.
KH: Next fight is in Philly at Fairmont Park stopping Exum Speight in the first.
NM: That promoter never paid me.
KH: In March of 2000, you go to Denmark and lose to Tue Bjorn Thomsen (18-0).
NM: There was no way I was going to get a decision over there.
KH: Your last fight was in Italy losing to Vincenzo Rossitto (19-0) in 10 rounds. This brings your final record to 31-9, with 27 knockouts, and never stopped.
NM: Once again, a fight I never got paid for. Overall, I had a good time in the game.
KH: Have you ever had any plans to train fighters?
NM: Next month in Bristol (Pennsylvania) The Warriors Gym will be adding boxing to their Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Pat Sabatini is the owner and his son Pat, Jr., a world champion, will run the gym. I will be brought in to teach boxing. I look forward to it.
e-mail Ken at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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