Anthony Joshua's U.S. debut could be in serious jeopardy.
The unified heavyweight champion was supposed to headline the June 1 Madison Square Garden card against Jarrell Miller, but a report from ESPN's Dan Rafael indicates that fight might not happen anymore. According to Rafael, Miller tested positive for the banned substance GW1516 during a random urine test conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).
The report also stated that Miller submitted the urine sample on March 20, but there is no word on what the status of his fight against Joshua is going to be. GW1516 is one of several metabolic modulators on the prohibited list on VADA's official website.
There is no word on what is the state of the fight or if the card will move forward should the heavyweight title bout be canceled as a result. The fight would have been for Joshua's WBA "Super," WBO and IBF titles and it would be Joshua's first pro fight in the United States after headlining Wembley Stadium in his last fight against Alexander Povetkin last September.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn took to Twitter to confirm the news and added that he is working on the matter to see what can be done regarding Joshua’s scheduled fight date at Madison Square Garden.
We have been informed by VADA that there has been an adverse finding in Jarrell Miller’s sample collected on March 20th, 2019. We are working with all relevant parties and will update with more details soon. AJ’s preparation continues for June 1st at MSG.— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) April 17, 2019
Salita Promotions, the company that promotes Miller, also released a statement on social media that says the following:
“We are in the process of obtaining further information about VADA’s finding and will have more to say soon on this developing situation. In the meantime, Jarrell continues to train for his June 1 fight against Anthony Joshua.”
The news comes on the same day as the announcement of a fight between Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon to crown the first-ever undisputed WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine Female lightweight champion, which was going to take place on that same card. The card was scheduled to be streamed on DAZN.