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Anthony Joshua opponent update: Betting suspended, confirmation close

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A clear favorite emerged over the weekend as heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua moves closer to confirming his next opponent for June 1st.

Bookmakers have suspended taking bets on who Joshua will battle in New York, meaning an announcement is imminent.

Joshua was forced to act once Jarrell Miller debunked on his $6.5m purse by doping despite strict VADA testing procedures.

That left Joshua in a tough spot. The Briton then scoured the heavyweight rankings for suitable replacements.

As World Boxing News pointed out at the time, only an American opponent would do.

Michael Hunter, who signed for Matchroom the week before the Miller development, was quickly locked in as a solid choice as Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn continued the search.

Trevor Bryan threw his hat into the ring after two offers to secure Luis Ortiz were rejected by the Cuban’s team.

Upon winning on April 20, the realisation that Andy Ruiz Jr. was then interested became a clear option for Joshua.

The biggest name of the trio, it was Ruiz who would be pursued from that point as the number one target.

READ/WATCH: Andy Ruiz eats chocolate, then MASSIVELY out-punches Anthony Joshua

WBN now understands a deal is agreed between both parties and the fight could be announced anytime over the next three days.

Joshua v Ruiz Jr. will be live on DAZN in the United States and is expected to stay on Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom.

The undercard features Kal Yafai and Callum Smith defending their respective world titles. Katie Taylor will go for undisputed status on the Madison Square Garden card against Delfine Persoon.

Kell Brook is pencilled in the to appear, whilst UK prospects Josh Buatsi and Josh Kelly will join young US fighter Austin Williams on the bill.

LAST ODDS (Before suspension)

Andy Ruiz Jr 4/11
Trevor Bryan 5/2
Michael Hunter 4/1
Luis Ortiz 11/1
Manuel Charr 12/1
Wladimir Klitschko 18/1
Dereck Chisora 22/1
Joseph Parker 22/1
Adam Kownacki 25/1
Oleksandr Usyk 25/1
Bryant Jennings 33/1
Joe Joyce 33/1
Oscar Rivas 33/1
Deontay Wilder 40/1
Dillian Whyte 40/1
Hughie Fury 40/1
Chris Areola 50/1
Murat Gassiev 50/1
Tyson Fury 50/1
Daniel Dubois 66/1
Dominic Breazeale 66/1
Nathan Gorman 80/1
Charles Martin 100/1
Shannon Briggs 100/1

Courtesy of SkyBet