Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller 21-0-1 (18) is in line to face Fres Oquendo 37-8 (24) for the vacant WBA ‘regular’ heavyweight title after Manuel Charr tested positive for two banned substances.
Titleholder Charr, who won the vacant strap with a points win over Alexander Ustinov last November, is expected to be stripped of the belt after a random urine test conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) last month revealed banned anabolic steroids epitrenbolone and drostanolone in his system.
WBA number two ranked Miller believes a win over Oquendo, the WBA number three contender, will open the door to a fight against WBA ‘super champion’ Anthony Joshua 22-0 (21) in the new year.
“I was at the [Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin] fight but, I’ve got to tell you, that I just don’t see Joshua beating Jarrell,” said Miller’s manager Dmitry Salita to Sky Sports. “Joshua is a great ambassador for the sport but I don’t see him beating Jarrell.
“Jarrell is a big man physically but what makes him unique is that he has the flexibility and athleticism of a little guy. He has the fluidity and speed of a small heavyweight but he is very big. He has tremendous skills and a high punch output.
“Jarrell’s consistency, pressure and size would cause a lot of problems for Anthony. Jarrell also has a tremendous amount of experience fighting outside of his country.
“Having been in the ring as often as he would have been, Jarrell has a great opportunity to bring the unified world title back to New York City.
“Can you imagine the build-up to a fight between Jarrell and Anthony Joshua?”
The Brooklyn banger traded barbs with Joshua at a DAZN press conference earlier this year and is seen as a viable option for the unified heavyweight champion’s mooted American debut.
But first Miller’s team want him to bring a title to the fight.
“He is the mandatory, 100 per cent,” Salita explained. “It’s up to the WBA to designate a fighter who he will fight for the WBA ‘regular’ title but we anticipate it being Fres Oquendo.
“It’s huge that Jarrell will have a chance to fight for the world title – Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe are great champions from Brooklyn so it will be a huge day for boxing when a fighter with the skills and personality of Jarrell Miller brings a world title back to New York City.
“We hope [to fight for the WBA ‘regular’ title] in December.”
Before that can happen Miller will need to get past Polish veteran Tomasz Adamek 53-5 (31) in Chicago this Saturday.
“Jarrell is focused on making a statement, and ending this fight early. He wants to get rid of this guy,” said Salita.