• Heavyweight champion struggling to secure opponent
• Promoter turns attention to bout with Jarrell Miller in New York
Anthony Joshua is likely to scrap the scheduled defence of his heavyweight titles at Wembley Stadium on 13 April and instead fight in New York in June, according to the promoter Eddie Hearn.
Joshua has long been pencilled in to fight at Wembley in the spring but he is struggling to secure an opponent. Dillian Whyte, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder have all been mooted as possible contenders for Joshua’s WBA, IBF and WBO belts but none have been confirmed. Hearn believes an agreement can be reached with Whyte, but he does not believe it will happen any earlier than May or June. Focus has, therefore, switched to a bout with the undefeated American fighter Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller.
“It looks like 13 April is unlikely,” Hearn told IFL TV. “I think Dillian thinks, for a fight like that, he’d want a bit more time. So, if we do the Whyte fight, I think we move it to May or June anyway. But the Jarrell Miller fight is very close for June at Madison Square Garden.”
A fight between Joshua and the WBC champion Deontay Wilder would unify the heavyweight division and generate huge interest on both sides of the Atlantic. However, Wilder is expected to first take on Fury in a rematch of their thrilling contest in December.
Joshua, the 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight gold medallist, beat Whyte at London’s O2 Arena in December 2015 and Hearn said three offers were made to the WBO mandatory challenger. Whye has disputed that, however, claiming Joshua is avoiding a fight between the pair.
“They’ve had the [Wembley] date booked for ages and have known AJ was available since he beat Alexander Povetkin in September yet didn’t even make an initial offer,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
“We could have made this fight if Joshua really wanted it, but it has been clear to me all along that they’ve been focused on making the Jarrell Miller fight in New York City on [Hearn’s subscription streaming service] DAZN.”