Eddie Hearn is in California this week promoting Friday night’s big DAZN card featuring Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Juan Francisco Estrada II and the 122-pound title unification between Daniel Roman and TJ Doheny, but he’s also got a lot more on his plate at the moment with Anthony Joshua.
Joshua, the WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight titleholder, was set to face Jarrell Miller on June 1 in New York, but after failing three drug tests, Miller was removed from the bout, and the hunt is on for a replacement opponent.
Hearn has updated us on where that all stands, and responded to stories of Luis Ortiz being “lowballed” with an offer, and he also took time out to speak on Jarrell Miller and what type of punishment he may deserve but almost surely won’t receive because of a loophole.
On the situation with Miller and what kind of punishment he deserves
“You have to look at the extent of what he’s done. I like Jarrell Miller, alright? I like his company. For a couple of years now, I’ve done everything I can to give him the best opportunities in his career. I gave him chances on HBO, I signed him to DAZN, I gave him more activity than any heavyweight in the world, then I gave him the Anthony Joshua fight for more money than he would have ever dreamed of and a shot at the world heavyweight title in New York at Madison Square Garden.
“And, you know, he fucked it up. He took a liberty. The thing that cuts me the deepest is, Anthony Joshua is not just a client of mine, he’s a friend of mine. And what (Miller) has done, he has tried to gain a physical edge to hurt him in the ring. For me, that is unacceptable. And to come out after the first test and swear blind that you’ve never touched anything, this is a sabotage — you know, the manager says, ‘This is racism,’ or something like that. And then that comes out two (days) later and you go, ‘Actually, yeah, sorry, oh, my hands up.’ That’s bad.
“This is beyond someone that’s just taken, like — if he would have failed the first one, he could have said, ‘Oh, yeah, I took this supplement and I didn’t know.’ What he’s done is downright, cold-blooded cheating. Human growth hormone and EPO — you’d have to speak to a doping expert, I’m presuming you inject that shit. Why have you done this? Is it out of fear? Is it just because you wanted to hurt or — this is the fight game, people die in that ring. And to do what he has done is cowardly, in my opinion.
“The situation is, he doesn’t have a license with the New York State Athletic Commission, because it’s expired. So they can’t punish him, they can only refuse his license. He can go to any other commission and apply for a license. I don’t think he’ll get one. A year (suspended) is very, very, very kind to Jarrell Miller, in my opinion. And I’m all for forgiving, people make mistakes. This isn’t a mistake. At no point did he not know, at no point was he talked into it. This is cold-blooded cheating to do damage to Anthony Joshua.
“I’m so pleased Anthony Joshua didn’t get in the ring with that guy. Anthony Joshua will never, ever, ever quit, and we could’ve had a situation where after eight or nine rounds, ‘What the fuck’s going on here?’ And then say something happened to Anthony, we’d never be able to forgive ourselves. So for that reason, it worked. VADA worked. And you can’t escape VADA when you do the testing processes we do, which is the proper way to do it.
“In terms of bans, it’s not for me to say. I’m still disgusted at him. Disgusted, because he texted me after the first one. He said, ‘I can’t believe this, I’ve not taken anything, this is a joke, blah blah blah.’ And I believed him! I knew he’d taken something, but I wanted to believe that he wouldn’t be that stupid. I wanted to believe that he wasn’t a cheat. You sign up for VADA testing, you know they’re coming. So what, were you looking for a way out? Did you not really want the fight? Were you scared? I don’t know. It’s confusing, because not only is it outrageous, but to do it when you signed up — he was never over the moon about signing up for VADA testing, but we don’t let a Joshua fight go ahead for this reason. Joshua hasn’t built and worked all his life to get into a position to give it away to a cheat who don’t deserve it.”
On whether he’s spoken with Miller since the news
“I don’t want to talk to him. I’ve got nothing to say to him. He knows. He ain’t messaged me since the second or third one. I mean, not being funny, and people ain’t got to apologize to me, but I put the money up. We done all the global tour. We spent half a million dollars. Just not honest people and I don’t want to be around or work around people who aren’t honest sportsmen. If you can’t do it the right way, don’t do it at all, don’t take the fight.”