Heavyweight great Lennox Lewis, the last man to be undisputed in the top division, wants Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder to cool off before getting back down to negotiations.
In September, Joshua moved on to face Alexander Povetkin when Wilder stalled on what he said was an unsignable deal for a huge unification between the two world champions.
Wilder then distanced himself from the Briton after feeling insulted by the contract’s stipulations, stating he now wants a 50-50 split and not a flat $15m fee.
Retired Lewis, who went through similar when attempting to seal a career-defining fight with Mike Tyson in 2002, believes a step back is needed for the pair to come together for a UK showdown eventually.
“AJ v Wilder the biggest fight in the heavyweight division. They will both make more than each ever has because they BOTH bring a level of interest to match,” said Lewis.
“It’s what fans want to see. Negotiations should reflect that. I would say 60-40 split in AJ’s favor at Wembley for the first fight.
“I’m very familiar with the process that gets in the way of big fights. Negotiations are just that. Each side fights for what they want.
“It is give and take, but the upside of Joshua v Wilder for the fighters AND the fans should make this fight a reality. Cooler heads prevail,” he added.
As British fans regroup and look forward to watching Joshua trade blows with Povetkin, Wilder is left to contemplate what might have been.
A WBC mandatory encounter with Dominic Breazeale is seemingly the order of the day before Wilder can then target another massive bout in 2019.
Whether that will finally be Joshua is anyone’s guess, as the WBC recently informed WBN they would consider ranking Tyson Fury in the coming months.
Fury could then be in a position to become a voluntary challenger for Wilder with a couple more victories and potentially squeeze Joshua out of the American’s picture for the summer of next year.