Anthony Joshua vs. Jarrell Miller is no longer happening.
The heavyweight championship bout between the British superstar and the outspoken New York-born contender was supposed to mark Joshua’s United States debut. While Joshua will remain on the June 1st card at Madison Square Garden, Miller’s recent drug test failure for Endurabol has led to his removal from the event.
It was confirmed on Wednesday evening by Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times that the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) denied Miller his license to compete. Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, has already begun a search for Miller’s replacement, and it appears as if former cruiserweight contender Michael Hunter (16-1, 11 KOs) is one of the leading options. Hunter did sign with Matchroom Boxing after picking up a couple of impressive wins at heavyweight, so it’s the “easiest” matchup to make in-house.
Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) is coming off a September knockout win over Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium in London, England. While he was expected to defend his WBA, WBC, and WBO titles on April 13th at Wembley, DAZN US executives reportedly pushed for Joshua to make his American debut, so the Wembley date was nixed.
While Joshua stands to make eight-figures as he usually does these days, Miller (23-0, 20 KOs) is the main focus here because of what this has cost him. For someone whose previous career-high purse was $500,000, “Big Baby” was set for a massive payday as the B-side. Prior to Miller’s license getting denied, ESPN’s Dan Rafael had the details on the money he stood to collect:
If Miller is dropped from the fight, it will cost him millions.He is due to earn a career-high purse of $4.875 million, not to mention additional money he stands to earn from a percentage of the profits from the fight on Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view in the United Kingdom. Miller’s deal with DAZN calls for two comeback fights worth $1.5 million apiece in the event that he loses to Joshua, which would disappear if there is no fight.
BoxingScene had reported back in February that Miller’s sum was due to exceed $6 million.
Miller denies any wrongdoing, in case you’re wondering.
Joshua vs. TBA will be streamed live on DAZN, while UK viewers can watch on Sky Box Office PPV.