Anthony Joshua’s potential next fight after Jarrell Miller’s failed drug test puts fight in jeopardy

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Anthony Joshua’s next opponent could be Luis Ortiz or Adam Kownacki after Jarrell Miller throws fight into jeopardy with failed drug test

  • Anthony Joshua’s US debut is in doubt after Jarrell Miller failed a drugs test
  • The British heavyweight could now face Luis Ortiz or Adam Kownacki next
  • Sportsmail has learned a shortlist of five names is now being drawn up for him
  • Kubrat Pulev, Michael Hunter and Manuel Charr are also thought to be in the five

Anthony Joshua will push on with plans to fight on June 1 despite Jarrell Miller’s failed drugs test – and Luis Ortiz and Adam Kownacki are the top targets to replace Miller if he is suspended.

Sportsmail understands a shortlist of five names that also includes Kubrat Pulev, Michael Hunter and Manuel Charr has hastily been put together for the Madison Square Garden bout in the event that Miller’s B sample also tests positive.

It was revealed in the early hours of Thursday morning that the American had tested positive on March 20 for muscle growth substance GW1516.  

Anthony Joshua's US debut has been put in doubt after a failed drugs test for Jarrell Miller

Anthony Joshua’s US debut has been put in doubt after a failed drugs test for Jarrell Miller 

Miller was set to be Joshua's first opponent in a bout outside the UK before failing the test

Miller was set to be Joshua’s first opponent in a bout outside the UK before failing the test

Experienced fighter Luis Ortiz (right) is believed to be on a five-man shortlist to replace Miller

Experienced fighter Luis Ortiz (right) is believed to be on a five-man shortlist to replace Miller

WHAT IS GW1516?

GW1516 was developed in the 1990s as a treatment for diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. 

It works by forcing skeletal muscle to use fat rather than carbohydrates as an energy source. 

While it is used by some to accelerate fat loss, it also has real benefits as an endurance aid for athletes.  

He is expected to imminently request that his B sample is tested and if that returns a positive, he will almost certainly not be granted a licence by the New York State Athletic Commission.

The substance was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list in 2009. 

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn told Sportsmail: ‘I spoke to AJ last night. It’s not an ideal situation and we have to wait and see what happens with Jarrell.

‘If he is unable to fight, AJ will still be fighting June 1 in Madison Square Garden. 

‘He has told me he will fight absolutely anyone and so we are looking at our options right now.’

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn told Sportsmail that his team are 'looking at our options' now

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn told Sportsmail that his team are ‘looking at our options’ now

Poland's Adam Kownacki is considered a top target if Miller is unable to go with the fight

Poland’s Adam Kownacki is considered a top target if Miller is unable to go with the fight

Ortiz feels less likely as preparations to face a tricky southpaw amount to less than seven weeks. 

HIS FIVE POTENTIAL OPPONENTS 

Luis Ortiz – 31 wins, 1 defeat

Adam Kownacki – 19 wins, 0 defeats

Kubrat Pulev – 27 wins, 1 defeat

Michael Hunter – 16 wins, 1 defeat

Manuel Charr – 31 wins, 4 defeats

The Cuban is ranked three with the WBC and eight by the IBF, while Poland-born New Yorker Kownacki is 19-0 and is ranked fifth by the WBC, fourth with the IBF and No 13 by the WBA.

Pulev would be an interesting option having previously pulled out injured from a fight with Joshua.

He is ranked eight by the WBC and is 27-1. American Hunter is No 10 with the IBF with a 16-1 record, while Charr, who failed a doping test last year, is regular champion with the WBA.

Other fighters who have declared their interest, including Joseph Parker and Britain’s Joe Joyce, are considered unlikely at this stage.

The situation is an enormous frustration for IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua, who had initially hoped to face Deontay Wilder in a unification, only for talks to fail. 

Joseph Parker, who Joshua beat on points in Cardiff in March 2018, is interested in the fight

Joseph Parker, who Joshua beat on points in Cardiff in March 2018, is interested in the fight

After news broke about Miller, the New Zealander took to Twitter to throw his hat into the ring

After news broke about Miller, the New Zealander took to Twitter to throw his hat into the ring

Before Tuesday night’s news, the fight had broken sales records for the iconic New York venue, taking just two hours to become the highest-grossing pre-sale there ever. 

With Tyson Fury fighting on a rival broadcaster and Dillian Whyte declining earlier offers, Miller was his fourth choice for his US debut.

Now he will attempt to breakthrough stateside against a lesser name. Miller is yet to comment on the situation, which follows a failed test from his kickboxing days.

Miller’s promoter, Dmitriy Salita, said: ‘We are in the process of obtaining further information about Vada’s finding and will have more to say soon on this developing situation. 

‘In the meantime Jarrell continues to train for his June 1 fight against Anthony Joshua.’

Joe Joyce is another name in the mix but is considered unlikely at this stage for Joshua

Joe Joyce is another name in the mix but is considered unlikely at this stage for Joshua

An explosive build-up helped to generate sales for the fight with fans now left waiting news

An explosive build-up helped to generate sales for the fight with fans now left waiting news

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