Boxing fans around the world woke up this morning to the news that Anthony Joshua’s maiden US fight may be in danger after Jarrell Miller returned an “adverse-finding” in a drug-testing sample.
AJ is meant to face off against Miller on June 1 at Madison Square Garden as he makes his first venture into the United States boxing world.
But the irregular sample now leaves doubts about whether the fight will occur, despite the two boxers continuing their preparations as normal.
However, even if Miller was to be forced to drop out, it seems unlikely that Joshua and Eddie Hearn, his promoter, would struggle to find a late replacement.
Joshua has already reportedly drawn up a shortlist of fighters who would be realistic options to face him at short notice.
- Dillian Whyte ready to replace Jarrell Miller
- Jarrell Miller denies failing drug test ahead of AJ fight
- Deontay Wilder won’t feel bad if he kills Dominic Breazeale
The list is as follows: Luis Ortiz, Adam Kownacki, Manuel Charr, Kubrat Pulev and Michael Hunter
Ortiz would be the most well-known opponent should he need to step in. A former WBA interim world heavyweight champion, the Cuban fought Deontay Wilder last year for the WBC heavyweight title, eventually being knocked out in the 10th round.
Pulev would present another interesting option. The Bulgarian has lost just once in his career, against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014 in an IBF world title fight, and has beaten Dereck Chisora and Hughie Fury in the last three years.
The other three boxers are lesser-known names, but they do include the unbeaten Pole Adam Kownacki, as well as American Michael Hunter, who was able to take Oleksandr Usyk the distance in 2017.
And it seems that other fighters would be willing to throw their names into the hat, with Joseph Parker, who was the first man to stay 12 rounds with Joshua, stating he is “very ready and willing,” in a Twitter post following the announcement.
As it currently stands, both parties are looking for further clarification and confirmation in order to have the issue resolved as soon as possible.