By Keith Idec
Jarrell Miller has designed his roadmap toward a shot at Anthony Joshua.
The talkative heavyweight contender from Brooklyn told Sky Sports in an interview Wednesday that he’ll fight fellow American Trevor Bryan on April 28 and hopes that’ll secure a fight against Joshua. Miller is expected to fight that night as part of HBO’s broadcast from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, but Bryan hasn’t been finalized as his opponent.
Miller (20-0-1, 18 KOs) and the untested Bryan (19-0, 13 KOs), of Schenectady, New York, are former sparring partners and know each other well.
“It’s looking like the end of April,” Miller said. “I’m gonna knock his block off.”
The 6-feet-4, 295-pound Miller also told Sky Sports he hopes the IBF and WBA will sanction his fight against Bryan as an elimination match. Neither organization has done that, though, and former WBA champion Alexander Povetkin defeated Germany’s Christian Hammer by unanimous decision December 15 in a WBA elimination match in Ekaterinburg, Russia, to become the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s title.
Promoter Eddie Hearn – who is working with Miller and his promoter, Dmitriy Salita – also has proposed Povetkin (33-1, 23 KOs) as a potential opponent for Miller on the April 28 card that’ll feature Daniel Jacobs in the main event against an undetermined opponent. Miller didn’t discuss facing Povetkin with Sky Sports, yet said he thinks he deserves a title shot more than the 38-year-old Russian contender.
“It’s my turn now,” Miller said. “I’ve been more active than he has, fighting more top contenders than he has, so I don’t see why he should skip me.”
A fight against Povetkin would be a bigger obstacle for Miller in his march toward challenging Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs), the IBF/IBO/WBA champion. Joshua is heavily favored to beat WBO champ Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) in their title unification fight March 31 in Cardiff, Wales.
If Joshua beats Parker and Miller wins April 28, Miller would be a potential opponent for Joshua if the British superstar makes his debut in the United States later this year.
“Hell yeah, most definitely,” Miller said. “Even though I know AJ is scared of me even more than a ton of bricks, you know what time it is. That would be an awesome opportunity, to break his face on American TV.”
He’ll have to get through at least one more opponent to earn a shot at Joshua, but Miller believes his resume already warrants that fight.
The 29-year-old Miller became just the second boxer to stop Poland’s Mariusz Wach (33-3, 17 KOs) in his last fight, a ninth-round TKO win November 11 in Uniondale, New York. In his previous bout, Miller stopped American Gerald Washington (18-2-1, 12 KOs) after the eighth round July 29 at Barclays Center.
“I think I deserve it now, to tell you the truth,” Miller said, “compared with these guys who AJ has fought, who Deontay [Wilder] has fought for their title shot, who Joseph Parker fought for their title shot.
“It’s crazy. I feel like I deserve it after this fight, after I put Trevor Bryan to sleep, so that’s how it is.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.