Olympic silver medal winner Joe Joyce (8-0, 8 KOs) was very surprised when his name wasn't mentioned among the list of boxers who were in line to face IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Joshua is scheduled to make his United States debut on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
He was scheduled to face Jarrell Miller - who was pulled from the fight after testing positive for several banned substances in three separate drug tests.
After Miller fell out, Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn named a list of potential candidates to fill the vacant position.
Among the boxer's named, were Andy Ruiz, Luis Ortiz, Manuel Charr, Adam Kownacki, Trevor Bryan and Agit Kabayel.
Although Joyce and Joshua are friends, the unbeaten puncher feels that he's done more to deserve a shot than some of the potential candidates.
“It was a bit of an insult,” Joyce told Declan Taylor. “I’ve got the WBA gold belt, the Commonwealth title. Some of the other names that were mentioned haven’t done what I’ve done. Andy Ruiz Jr for instance, I’ve beaten Joe Hanks and that was Ruiz’s best win to date. I did it in a shorter time too.
“Perhaps, because the fight is in America, Eddie wanted an American opponent but I’ve boxed there before. They were looking for heavyweights so I put my name in the hat.”
Joyce announced on Thursday that he signed a co-promotional agreement with Hearn's main promotional rival, Frank Warren. And now Joyce will be pushed in the UK through Warren's television deal with BT Sport. Hearn has an exclusive deal with Sky Sports.
Joyce's next fight may come against another Warren fighter, undefeated rising prospect Daniel Dubois - but that fight is not set in stone.