June 1st was supposed to be a moment of truth for undefeated heavyweight contender Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller. On this date, Miller was to engage with UK superstar Anthony Joshua, the IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight champion of the world on DAZN.
It was a chance for the confidence and trash talking Miller to back up all of his talk about Joshua, who he has been verbally scolding in the press for some months now.
But everything changed on Tuesday evening, when it was reported by ESPN’s Dan Rafael that Miller had tested positive for the banned substance GW1516, also known as Endurobol on the black market.
According to reports, Endurobol has been found to have the ability to burn off excess fatty tissue, enhance recovery, and dramatically increase endurance. All of those things are beneficial to a fighter, but with the drug being banned, it also means we likely won’t be seeing Joshua face Miller next or perhaps at all in the future.
When new spread, the Boxing community erupted, especially on Twitter and boxing forums. Fans began mocking Miller for eating “tainted cheeseburgers”, as that has been one of his self-proclaimed favorite. Others were simply in disbelief that Miller has likely cost himself a seven-figure payday as well as a shot at heavyweight glory.
Where do we go from here? Obviously, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn will likely need a replacement for June 1. Two names that instantly stand out are Cuba’s Luis Ortiz and Poland’s Adam Kownacki.
Ortiz is one of the best boxers skill-wise at heavyweight and has plenty of experience. All one has to do is watch how much trouble he gave Deontay Wilder to see his potential.
Kownacki is a bruising type of fighter and would make for great action vs. a guy like Joshua, even if he were the underdog. He is also coming off of a two round demolition of Gerald Washington, so his stock is high as ever.
The only problem is that both of those fighters are advised by Al Haymon, who doesn’t seem particularly interested in doing any business with Hearn or having his guys appear on DAZN.
Hearn addressed the news on his personal Twitter and said that Joshua’s preparation continues. Hearn is the type who will surely be looking for the best possible replacement.
The dark horse in all of this is former US Olympian Michael Hunter, who recently signed an exclusive deal with Hearn. Hunter’s only defeat was a gutsy decision loss to Oleksandr Usyk at cruiser weight and he has since been piling up some good wins at heavyweight. Don’t be shocked if he gets the call.
No matter how we look at this, things have dramatically changed for June 1st. Joshua’s US debut gets more interesting by the minute.