It is now official that Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller has managed to lose a £5m payday for fighting Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden on June 1st.
Miller, from Brooklyn, New York has been refused a boxing license by The New York State Athletic Commission after testing positive for GW1516. He has asked for the ‘B’ Sample to be tested by VADA, and will be able to re-apply for his license after those results are released.
So, now that Joshua vs Miller is officially off, speculation over a replacement opponent has been frenetic on social media. We put forward our thoughts in our piece: Jarrell Miller :: Joshua’s Accuser Tests Positive, but since then Polish contender Adam Kownacki has taken himself out of the equation.
News that Matchroom Boxing Boss Eddie Hearn had contacted WBA regular champion Manuel Charr as a possible replacement was worrying as Charr is an unknown to American fans and with 17,000 tickets already sold there would be a high probability of fans returning their tickets.
The popular fan choice is still Luis Ortiz and Eddie Hearn has said that the Cuban would be his 1st choice. In an interview with Kugan Cassius, Hearn stated that Joshua had told him over the phone that he will take “absolutely anyone” as his June 1st opponent, so Ortiz could have the opportunity to face AJ but there is the possibility that Premier Boxing Champions will veto this to keep Ortiz on Showtime who air PBC shows.
Finding a suitable opponent is a nightmare scenario for Matchroom, Not only does he have to be creditable with the fans, especially the American fans, but he will also need to be ready in 6 weeks’ time for a career defining fight.
In the interview with Cassius, Hearn stated that a certain heavyweight contender had sent him a text a month ago to tell him that they were training for the June 1st date in case anything happened to Miller, so we know at least one guy will be in top shape for the date.
My bet is that Joshua will face Michael Hunter on June 1st.
Opportunity knocks Michael.