Jarrell Miller: American to appeal against decision to deny licence to face Anthony Joshua

Miller claims he tested clean a week before returning an adverse finding
Miller claims he tested clean a week before returning an adverse finding

Jarrell Miller says he has "done nothing wrong" and will appeal against the decision to deny him a licence to face Anthony Joshua in New York.

The New York State Athletic Commission refused him a licence to fight on 1 June after he returned an "adverse finding" in a drug-testing sample.

"The facts will prevail and I shall be vindicated," said Miller, 30.

"My team and I stand for integrity, decency and honesty and we will fight this with everything we have."

Miller returned the adverse finding on 20 March and his team have now requested his B sample be tested.

But the decision by NYSAC - who sanction the bout - has currently left Joshua without an opponent for his US debut at Madison Square Garden.

Miller, who was due to step up in class and face his toughest test to date, will also lose out on a reported purse of about £5m.

"I am absolutely devastated upon hearing the news my boxing license has been revoked in NY State and I will be vigorously appealing this decision," he added in a post on Instagram.

"I have never knowingly taken any banned substance and when I found out the news last night I was totally shocked.

"This was a voluntarily test that I was very happy to do and these results came just one week after another voluntarily test that I had taken which was completely clean.

"I refuse to just lie down and let my dream be taken away from me when I know in my heart that I've done nothing wrong.

"I don't have anything to hide and the truth will make itself known."

Joshua's camp say they are in the process of searching for a replacement for the fight night, with American Michael Hunter mooted as a potential opponent.

Hunter, 30, has 16 wins and one loss - to Oleksandr Usyk at cruiserweight - on his record.

'Eight fighters being considered'

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn says 18 heavyweights have contacted him to replace Miller, but just eight are being considered.

They include Cuba's Luis Ortiz, Poland's Adam Kownacki and American Michael Hunter.

"It feels like we need an American fighter or someone that the American market is also familiar with," Hearn told BBC Sport.

"So in that respect you have Luis Ortiz, whose manager has already said he doesn't think he can make it time-wise, which I've disagreed with, but we're still talking, plus Adam Kownacki and Michael Hunter.

"Ultimately we want someone from the top 15 that's going to put up a great fight, who is going to come to win. That's the most important thing. I don't want someone who wants to take a payday on 1 June, I want someone who wants to come and rip the world heavyweight title from Joshua."

He added: "There will be an announcement next week, either for Miller, which is very, very unlikely, or for a new opponent, which is more than likely. On 1 June at Madison Square Garden we go ahead as planned, Anthony Joshua's American debut."

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