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Adam Kownacki takes himself out of running to face Anthony Joshua

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Adam Kownacki isn’t going to be in the ring with Anthony Joshua on June 1, so that’s one name down.

Keith Thurman v Josesito Lopez Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

With Jarrell Miller failing a VADA drug test and Matchroom Boxing very likely to be looking for a replacement to face WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua on June 1, popular New York fighter Adam Kownacki seemed like a nice, logical fit if available.

But Kownacki (19-0, 15 KO) says he won’t be across the ring from Joshua (22-0, 21 KO) at Madison Square Garden.

A bit of a bummer, because Kownacki, 30, was one of the best candidates on paper, being unbeaten, fun to watch, and with a following in the area.

But if Eddie Hearn is to believed, tickets aren’t really a concern, as they’ve supposedly sold over 17,000 for the fight, with 10,000 of those being Brits coming over to support Joshua. So that makes Kownacki, a PBC fighter, a little less valuable, at least in theory, if you believe the numbers.

So that’s one fighter out of the running. There’s still Luis Ortiz, whom Hearn says would be his and Joshua’s first choice, but also may not be available for whatever of several possible reasons. And there are others, too, including WBA “world” titleholder Mahmoud Charr and recent Matchroom signing Michael Hunter, who may quietly be the real leading candidate to step in.