Once-beaten heavyweight contender Michael Hunter is eager to earn a crack at WBO, IBO, WBA, IBF world champion Anthony Joshua.
Hunter was a frontrunner to face Joshua on June 1, when scheduled challenger Jarrell Miller was pulled from the fight after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.
In the end, Joshua reached an agreement to face Andy Ruiz on the date, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Hunter will instead return this Saturday night, when he faces Fabio Maldonado in Maryland.
Hunter believes that he will eventually work his way to a showdown with Joshua in the future.
He has a promotional pact with Eddie Hearn, who also guides the career of Joshua.
"They were close to using me, because they couldn't find the right representative, and I think I would have been the right representative, but they found somebody better suited, Andy Ruiz. He's no slouch and he's definitely a worthy opponent, whatever people think of him," Hunter said to Sky Sports.
"Eventually once I keep winning and getting better, eventually I'm just going to rise to the top on my own. To get it like the way I was going to get it, with the mishap of the 'Big Baby' situation, I don't think I'll get that opportunity again. If I do get it, it will be because I earned it, and I took it from them."
Since suffering a defeat to Oleksandr Usyk two years ago at cruiserweight, Hunter moved up and racked up four wins in a row - including stoppages victories over Martin Bakole and Alexander Ustinov.
And he intends to get another knockout against Maldonado.
"That's the whole reason we're here is to make statements," said Hunter. "The guy has never been stopped, he has only two losses, and the two guys that fought him were undefeated fighters, so there is a statement for me to make out there on this fight. The win for me I feel is not just getting the 'W', but getting the 'W' in great fashion, and that's what I plan to do."