American heavyweight Jarrell Miller believes he will be well deserving of a world title shot after his upcoming bout against Johann Duhaupas as he targets a high-profile clash with Anthony Joshua.
After disappointing in his last appearance - an underwhelming ninth-round stoppage of 38-year-old former world title challenger Mariusz Wach live on HBO - "Big Baby" will return to the ring on 28 April, when he meets Duhaupas of France at the Barclays Center in the co-feature event of a card headlined by Daniel Jacobs' middleweight contest against Maciej Sulecki.
With WBC kingpin Deontay Wilder still said to be living on "Fantasy Island" with regards to his purse demands, Miller has already been namechecked by promoter Eddie Hearn as a potential first stateside opponent for WBA (Super), IBF and IBO champion Joshua provided the latter comes through his latest unification test against WBO title-holder Joseph Parker at Cardiff's Principality Stadium on 31 March.
While some may question if the 29-year-old is fully deserving of such an opportunity, he clearly believes he will be worthy of a title tilt after beating Duhaupas.
"Deontay Wilder didn't fight nobody before he fought [Bermane] Stiverne for a belt. AJ didn't fight nobody before he fought Charles Martin for a belt," he told reporters after a press conference on Tuesday [20 February], per Boxing Insider.com. "I'm fighting three guys that fought for titles [Gerald Washington, Wach and Duhaupas]... before I even get a title shot. People want to say I might not have looked my greatest in my last fight, but look who I've fought, look who he's fought.
"The proof is in the pudding. I'm going to keep earning my spot and keep doing it, but I think after this fight I should well deserve my shot."
Joshua is coming down in weight ahead of his meeting with New Zealander Parker next month, having tipped the scales at a career-heaviest 18st 2lbs for a laboured victory over late replacement opponent Carlos Takam in October in which he looked a little sluggish amid more questions over his stamina in the later rounds.
"I think lighter would benefit him," Miller said of that plan. "He's naturally a small guy, he has a smaller frame so him putting on all that muscle, drinking a lot of protein... it definitely made him look like crap against Takam, a smaller guy that doesn't have a lot of pop and a stoppage which I don't think he deserved at that exact moment.
"I guess smaller would do him better, but at the end of the day I know what I'm going to do to him."
Asked for the blueprint for Parker to overcome the odds and inflict Joshua's first professional defeat, he added: "I think Parker has to have better stamina, let his hands go, move early in the beginning rounds because Joshua doesn't have the best footwork and he does gas out by the fourth or fifth round.
"He'll try to shoot his gun in the first two to three rounds, if Parker can move fast, go to the body, go up the middle a little bit, wait until the leading rounds and really jump on him, I think he'll definitely be in the fight.
"Honestly I give him a 50/50 chance."