Home Boxing News Anthony Joshua fight could land on regular DAZN

Anthony Joshua fight could land on regular DAZN

Anthony Joshua

As the mad scramble continues to find a replacement boxer to face Anthony Joshua at the O2 Arena in London, England on Saturday night, it has been revealed that the card could land on regular DAZN rather than pay-per-view.

Former two-time heavyweight champion Joshua 25-3 (22) was set to face Dillian Whyte 29-3 (19) in a rematch of their 2015 bout before the perennial contender was a late scratching over the weekend after turning in a dirty drug test.

It is the third time in his career that the 35-year-old has run afoul of drug testing agencies.

The news came as a blow to promotional outfit Matchroom Boxing, who have invested heavily in the event.

In a statement over the weekend, Matchroom said: “Today, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) informed Matchroom, the Association of Boxing Commissions and the British Boxing Board of Control that Dillian Whyte had returned adverse analytical findings as part of a random anti-doping protocol.

“In light of this news, the fight will be cancelled and a full investigation will be conducted. Further information on the event will follow.”

A replacement for Whyte could come from one of the two heavyweight bouts scheduled for the undercard. Croatian contender Filip Hrgovic 15-0 (12) is scheduled to meet Australian southpaw Demsy McKean 22-0 (14), while gatekeeper Derek Chisora 33-13 (23) of Britain will clash with American Gerald Washington 20-5-1 (13).

Looking further afield, Swedish southpaw Otto Wallin 25-1 (14) has also put his hand up for the gig, as has Mexican-American Andy Ruiz Jr 35-2 (22) who holds a win and a loss against Joshua.

How the fight will be broadcast will ultimately be decided by the opponent they can secure.

“Obviously we’re very disappointed. I know Team AJ is and I know [promoter] Eddie [Hearn] is. I feel for Eddie. I feel for AJ more than anyone else,” DAZN North America CEO Joseph Markowski said to iFL TV.

“We’re in discussions with Matchroom. We’ll see what happens there. I don’t think anything will get announced until early next week.

“Listen, this is all played out the last 24 hours, so we need to get into lots of detail. There are lots of nuances to it. So I think early next week, we’ll be making an announcement on that.”

Markowski is hopeful that a suitable opponent can be found and the card can be salvaged with a final decision on how it will be broadcast to follow.

“It completely just depends on the opponent,” he said. “All of this needs to be discussed. If it goes ahead next weekend, we’ll have to wait and see, but as I say, early next week, we’ll have an announcement.”

Joshua, 33, will be hoping something can be worked out too. He wants to have one more hit-out under new coach Derrick James before a proposed December clash against former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) in Saudi Arabia.