Anthony Joshua’s fight with Dillian Whyte on August 12 in London has been pulled due to ‘adverse analytical findings’ in one of Whyte’s doping tests.
Following the bombshell news and Whyte’s inability to headline the card, the promotion is now scrambling to find a late-replacement that will give Joshua a fight.
Fans and pundits immediately looked to the undercard for heavyweights with training camps in sync with the two-time world champion. As of writing, neither Filip Hrgovic or Demsey McKean – who battle it out for the former’s IBF number one slot – have thrown their hat in the ring.
One fight down the card is Derek Chisora against inactive American heavyweight, Gerald Washington. Chisora shared statements on social media that signalled he would be happy to step in with AJ, despite being friends and under the same management.
Washington’s trainer, Malik Scott, offered his fighter to the Brit. Scott also trains Deontay Wilder, the man Joshua is hoping to face in early 2024.
Another US heavyweight in Michael Hunter offered his services, and a former foe in Andy Ruiz Jr urged promoter Eddie Hearn to give him a trilogy fight with Joshua.
Ruiz was a late-replacement for ‘AJ’ back in 2019 after a similar situation in which Jarrell Miller tested positive for performance enhancers and was forced off the bill. The Mexican would upset the odds by stopping Joshua and taking his unified titles that night. He would lose them back in the immediate rematch.
Agit Kabayel, most recently rumoured to face Tyson Fury, also stated he was up for the fight, followed by Joseph Parker, whose manager said the New Zealander would be ready to run it back following Joshua’s decision victory over him in 2018.
Finally, Swedish southpaw, Otto Wallin, said he would be willing to step in. He’s best known for giving Fury a tough night’s work via a brutal cut in 2019.
Boxing Social understands that the show will go on, so one of the above is likely to be occupying the other corner come Saturday night.