Anthony Joshua is on the hunt for a suitable opponent to replace Jarrell Miller.
Matchroom Sport chairman Barry Hearn tells Sky Sports that his son, Eddie Hearn, is very close to finalizing a deal for Anthony Joshua’s June 1st opponent at Madison Square Garden. Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) was originally scheduled to take on Jarrell Miller on the night, but with Miller testing positive for a litany of banned substances, he’s been promptly removed from the fight.
That situation left Eddie Hearn scrambling for a replacement opponent, with the promoter often telling the world his preference would be to have Joshua face Andy Ruiz (32-1, 21 KOs) because he’s confident Ruiz will make it a good show for the fans. Whomever it will ultimately be, though, it seems we should know by tomorrow.
“I understand there’s every chance he’s going to make an announcement tomorrow, so it’s getting there. It’s difficult, it’s very difficult, the political world of boxing and the money they’re talking about, but it’s also difficult when a few people view it as an opportunity to put one over on AJ, or us, or boxing.
”We have five likely opponents, so it’s not a question we’re going to be blackmailed, we’re never going to be forced into doing anything stupid, because we just don’t work like that. Eddie is just playing the cards dead straight.”
In the end, however, it will be Anthony Joshua who makes the final call on who he faces. There’s not many viable options which will get the fans truly excited, so what opponent would you most like to see him face on short notice?