ANTHONY JOSHUA’S promoter Matchroom is exploring alternative opponents for the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion’s next fight in New York on June 1 in the event Jarrell Miller is suspended.
Here, Press Association Sport explores four potential alternatives.
Poland’s undefeated Kownacki is based in New York and therefore has a suitable profile for the occasion of Joshua’s United States debut, which is specifically why Miller was first selected. He would also earn a career-high purse by agreeing to the relatively late-notice fight.
A rematch between Whyte and Joshua has long appeared inevitable, to the extent that he had been in contention to fight his bitter rival at Wembley Stadium earlier this year. A potential stumbling block, amid his low profile in the US, is the fact Matchroom are preparing for him to be involved in a pay-per-view fight in London in July.
Given Hunter is American and has fought and won in the UK, his profile may yet be considered suitable for an occasion Matchroom hope will further Joshua’s profile both domestically and in the US. That he is already signed to Joshua’s promoters is a further positive, as is his present place on a bill they are promotion in Chicago the weekend before June 1, which means he should already be in training. His only defeat came against the great Ukrainian, Oleksandr Usyk.
Cuba’s cultured Ortiz is still widely considered the division’s danger man; he perhaps remains the biggest threat to Joshua, WBC champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, and would represent a far lower reward opponent. The 40-year-old almost stopped the undefeated Wilder when they fought in New York last year.