By Aaron Humes: Undefeated heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller has “failed a second separate test for a further substance,” according to the promoter for rival champion Anthony Joshua, Eddie Hearn, and is denied a license to fight in New York state, calling off their bout planned for June 1.
Miller would have been the first Belizean to go after a heavyweight title and one of the few contenders in any class to have represented Belize in such a fight.
There was a first adverse finding from a sample taken on March 20, returned positive for banned substance GW1516, but Miller’s team requested a second test, with the fighter saying “The facts will prevail and I shall be vindicated…My team and I stand for integrity, decency, and honesty and we will fight this with everything we have.”
But sources tell ESPN that the second test, from a sample on March 31, found human growth hormone (HGH), a long-time banned substance.
“Salita Promotions and Greg Cohen Promotions are very disappointed in these findings and feel awful fight fans will be deprived of what would have been a great fight,” Dmitriy Salita and Greg Cohen, Miller’s co-promoters, told ESPN in a joint statement following the revelation of the positive test. “It’s a terrible outcome and unfortunate situation for all parties involved.”
The fight could still be saved if the B samples from both tests were returned negative, but Hearn says he is already lining up a different opponent for the undefeated Joshua, who holds three heavyweight belts.
Miller, residing in Brooklyn but originally from Belize City, is undefeated with one draw in 24 fights and was looking at his biggest competition as well as the biggest fight purse of nearly five million. He now faces possible suspension by the New York State Athletic Commission, after previously being suspended in the kickboxing community for similar offenses a few years ago.