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Joshua reacts to Jarrell Miller’s 3 positive drug tests

Anthony Joshua

By Mark Eisner: Anthony Joshua finally gave his thoughts on the three positive tests for his previously scheduled June 1st opponent Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller on Monday, and surprisingly he didn’t come down too hard on him. Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) made it clear that Miller doesn’t belong inside the ring with him or any heavyweight in the division after his three failed VADA tests.

In Joshua’s interview, he took the high road, showing class and not gloating about Miller’s misfortune. Miller, 6’4,” is losing out on a $4,875 million purse for the Joshua fight, and he could have made another $3 million for two fights with DAZN.

The 315 lb. Miller tested positive for the banned substances GW1516 [x 2] and Human Growth Hormone [HGH]. The positive tests led to the New York State Athletic Commission denying Miller a boxing license, and he’s been removed from the June 1st card. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is looking for a replacement opponent, and he’s expected to name the replacement within 48 to 72 hours, according to Joshua.

Here’s Joshua’s comments he made on Miller’s situation in an interview posted by AJBXNG

“June 1st will still go ahead. My New York debut at Madison Square Garden. I don’t want to talk too much on the situation with Jarrell Miller, because it’s not in my character to kick a man while he’s down about the things he said in the past at press conferences. I wanted to crack him in the jaw. I know when you’re in that position, you have to lead by example…what goes around comes around, and I feel like he had taken fate out of his own hands. Sometimes be respectful. I know it’s a fight. Be respectful, be appreciative, and lead by example. What he had done is not leading by example. Cheats across all borders will be found out. Hustlers and hard workers will always rise to the top. Good luck to everyone that’s hustling and working hard to try and do a good job within their means.”

Miller did a lot of trash talking in the kickoff news conference with Joshua, and said a lot of things related to PEDs. With Miller testing positive three times for banned PEDs, it made him look silly. The positive tests for Miller may end up helping the sport of boxing if it can lead to more testing being done. Fighters using PEDs to gain an edge against their opponents has become a problem that need to be addressed. The drug testing that is going on is frequently only done in the weeks before a big fight instead of year round testing, which is what needs to happen. If a fighter is cycling up on PEDs before he starts training camp, then he’s already gotten a huge benefit from the substances.

“We’re currently looking for alternative options. I’ve got 4 1/2 weeks of sparring,” Joshua said. “Whoever the fighter may be, I’m going to keep my chin down, my hands up, and be ready to slug it out with whoever. I want to say good luck to Jarrell Miller with whatever he does with his future life. Like I said, I’m not going to kick him while he’s down, but he don’t deserve to be inside the ring with me or any other heavyweight right now. I don’t know what the future holds. That’s not up to me. That’s up to the governing bodies, but they’ll make the right decision and the right call in this situation. When Eddie [Hearn] called me and broke the news in this situation. These things happen in sports. What I did say is whoever it is, I’m down for it. He’s doing the negotiations. Hopefully in the next 72 hours, 48 hours, we’ll have information for you guys. The best thing I can do is deliver in the ring. June 1st, MSG is still going ahead. The landlord is still going to come for his rent. To Miller’s mom, I still love you. If there’s anything I can do for you, let me know,” Joshua said.

Hearn has a short list of fighters that he’s looking at to pick out a replacement for Joshua. By now, Hearn likely already has the replacement in the process of being finalized. Joshua said he wanted Luis “King Kong” Ortiz, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll take the fight. The other options are not so good. These are some of the names that Hearn was talking about possibly signing: Manuel Charr, Adam Kownacki, Joseph Parker, Agit Kabayel, and Michael Hunter. The one that boxing fans think will get selected is Hunter. He’s now signed with Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA promotion, he’s a 2012 U.S Olympian, and he’s recently put together a couple of good wins at heavyweight. Hunter gave Oleksandr Usyk a lot of problems in their fight in 2017. Hunter lost, but he forced Usyk to use movement to beat him. Usyk was struggling with Hunter’s combination punching when he stood in front of him.

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