Bunce: Can anyone save the heavyweight division from its own sorry mess?

Anthony Joshua: 'I'm willing to fight Deontay Wilder' (1:35)

World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua says he wants to fight Deontay Wilder and has already penciled in a date for the prospective fight. (1:35)

There is a desperate search in New York right now for a man: must be 6-foot-4 minimum in height, weigh close to 250 pounds, be free in early June, have no previous drug offenses and be unafraid of taking a beating in the boxing ring.

Anthony Joshua's big U.S. debut is on the rocks. Late Tuesday night, it was revealed his prospective opponent Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller failed a routine Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency test on March 20.

Initially, the adverse test result meant Miller's world heavyweight title shot, scheduled for Madison Square Garden on June 1, was in jeopardy. But within 24 hours, the New York State Athletic Commission formally rejected the boxer's application for a licence.

So the fight is now off. Joshua's big New York arrival is still happening but is in deep trouble, and the heavyweight division's calamitous position has been assaulted again.

Joshua's team has begun scouring New York for a replacement. The "Wanted" signs are up in every gym and Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn believes he will have a substitute by early next week. But the failed test means the champion, for now preparing in oblivion in Britain and planning his move to Florida to finish training, is suddenly in a dire situation.

Miller had been ideal: big, loud, unbeaten, a local and untested. In short, he would go down swinging and Joshua would take the Garden and New York -- and then American boxing.

That was the plan. Now the show on June 1 will continue and a big man will be found, but there is no giant invisibility cloak available to drape over the Garden and vanish the Miller mess. His shadow will hang over the event whoever that opponent is.

And, with so little time to prepare, who will take this fight? There is a list of two or three men ready to travel with delusions and stand toe-to-toe with Joshua, but Luis Ortiz seems to have ruled himself out, while Dillian Whyte could be up for the fight but has no profile to speak of in the United States.

Joshua will be reading the portfolio of late-call dreamers, carefully balancing risk, potential criticism and the urgency required to get a name out there and calm the nerves of executives at television companies.

But he -- and the heavyweight division as a whole -- have both been dealt a cruel, cruel blow by the utter stupidity of Miller, who signed up for the ruthless rules and regulations of VADA testing when he agreed to the fight.

Miller will appeal, but VADA's fearless approach and professional standards are unlikely to give him a chance, no matter how loud he hollers about being innocent: VADA are on a roll, attacking boxers at all levels with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez their No. 1 scalp last year.

Miller had already failed a test in 2014 when he was competing in kick-boxing, but that test result -- and the nine-month ban that followed -- was overlooked as he kept winning in the boxing ring; he was a real contender, a rarity in the American heavyweight business. In short, the sport in America needed him.

This disgrace is just the latest in a series that have blackened the heavyweight division. Be it big fights not coming to fruition, to leading contender Kubrat Pulev kissing a female journalist on the lips (bringing disciplinary action that probably eliminates him from a late call to face Joshua), it has been a sorry start to 2019.

The heavyweight division is most definitely good business, but it is not necessarily a business that makes an awful lot of sense. It has to be said that fools like Miller do the sport a lot of damage and it seems that with each increasingly common calamity there is the very real risk that the fans will turn away.

Over and above all of the scandals, the division needs a clear champion, one man with the ability to say he has met and beaten the best.

Joshua holds some belts, Deontay Wilder holds another one and Tyson Fury is considered by many to be the best of the three. They are not even close to agreeing to terms for one fight, two fights or a fantasy series that would see one man emerge as the heavyweight champion of the world.

Joshua, Wilder and Fury are good fighters. They deserve better and so do the fans.

There will be a Joshua fight in the Garden ring on June 1, make no mistake. But what sort of a fight will it be now? And does it have any chance of laying the ghost of this sordid affair?