Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua will still be fighting someone on June 1, despite his original opponent Jarrell Miller failing a drugs test.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Hearn said: ‘The search is on. Anybody in that top 15 can get a shot. Anthony Joshua, June 1, Madison Square Garden, live on Sky Sports. That’s really what we’re working towards now.’
Sportsmail understands that Adam Kownacki and Luiz Ortiz are the top targets to replace the American, with Hearn saying Joshua will face a ‘credible opponent.’
Anthony Joshua will still be fighting on June 1, boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed
The boxing promoter says the search is on for a credible opponent from the top 15 rankings
‘I think it’s very unlikely Jarrell Miller will be in this fight, and we have to make sure that we continue to build a great card,’ said Hearn. ‘Obviously we unannounced the Katie Taylor undisputed fight as well, and we find a very credible opponent from that top 15 in the world rankings.
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
‘For Anthony, the job goes on, the American debut goes on and we’re gonna plan a big night.’
Miller produced an adverse result for a metabolic modulator in testing carried out on March 20 by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).
The substance was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list in 2009 and forces the body to use fat instead of carbohydrates for energy, aiding endurance.
Miller has denied knowingly taking a banned substance and intends to appeal against the decision to revoke his licence.
Anthony Joshua’s original opponent, Jarrell Miller, has tested positive for a banned substance
‘I am absolutely devastated upon hearing the news my boxing licence has been revoked in NY State and I will be vigorously appealing this decision,’ Miller wrote on Instagram.
‘I have NEVER knowingly taken any banned substance and when I found out the news last night I was totally shocked.
‘My team and I stand for integrity, decency & honesty and together we will stand to fight this with everything we have!’
Kubrat Pulev, Michael Hunter and Manuel Charr have all also been linked with the fight.
Poland’s Adam Kownacki is considered a top target if Miller is unable to go with the fight
Experienced fighter Luis Ortiz (right) is believed to be on a five-man shortlist to replace Miller
‘Everybody’s on the hustle now to try and get a shot at Anthony Joshua so we’ve got to make sure we get the right guy,’ Hearn told Sky Sports News.
‘Going through everything today, tomorrow, and over the weekend, we have some meetings, a lot of people flying in as well, and early next week there will be an announcement for a new opponent, subject to Jarrell Miller’s B sample being tested as well.
‘But history will tell us that it’s unusual to see a change in that sample.’
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.
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.