Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 22-0 (21) is still looking for a replacement opponent after Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller 23-0-1 (20) was forced to withdraw from their June 1 clash at New York’s Madison Square Garden after testing positive for three banned substances.
Former world title challenger Luis Ortiz 31-1 (26) had been tipped to replace Miller but the US-based Cuban’s management team quashed that idea after what they said was a lowball offer.
“It’s a no go for June 1,” Ortiz’s management wrote on Instagram. “Sorry guys we were told to stay as quite as possible and play possum until fight had been made because every time someone called Luis out it would be a gimmick to promote them self but it still didn’t work.
“We just received news from promoter that it’s a no go and it was all a gimmick and Hearn’s low ball offers will not be accepted and no contract even ever got sent so sorry to all the loyal fans.
“Luis really wanted this title shot.”
In his lone loss Ortiz was stopped in the 10th round by WBC champion Deontay Wilder 40-0-1 (39) in a competitive fight in March last year.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is still searching for a viable opponent for the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion’s American debut.
“When Eddie called me and he broke the news to me, these things happen in sport, so I don’t get in my feelings about it, but what I did say is ‘whoever it is, I’m down to ride’,” Joshua said.
“He’s [Hearn] doing the negotiations, he’s having the conversations. Hopefully it’ll be in the next 48 hours or 72 hours we’ll have an update.
“I keep my head down and try to stay out of trouble, that’s the best thing I can do, and deliver in the ring.
“June 1, MSG, it’s still going down. The landlord will still come and collect his rent.”