Lennox Lewis has urged Anthony Joshua not to accept a step-apart deal and instead win back the heavyweight belt.
After losing in round 12 in September, AJ was to have an immediate rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
But the Middle East money nerds are looking to cash in for the undisputed title decider between Usyak and Tyson Fury.
That would mean Joshua, and Fury’s WBC mandated challenger Dillian White, accepting a fee to sit on the sidelines.
Lewis is no stranger to stepping aside, having accepted £2.9m ($4m) in 1996 to allow Mike Tyson to beat Bruce Seldon.
But as British legend points out, he did so after winning his last four fights.
So Lewis, now 56, warned AJ against accepting an alleged £15m step-side deal to avenge his loss against Usyk.
He tweeted: “And before you put Tyson aside… just remember, I wasn’t coming from a loss.
“I’ll go get my belt back first. It’s also not a knock on Salah or AJ. This is what I would do in that situation.”
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Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed yesterday that he had received a separate offer, but no settlement was reached.
Fury, 33, appeared to confirm today that his next fight will be against 33-year-old White, ending hopes of a reunification with Usyk and the need for a move-apart deal.
He added: “I can’t wait to fix Dillian White’s face, dude. I’m going to give him the best hidden thing I’ve ever had in my life.
“Dillian White, work hard because you’re going to annihilate, bum.”
It would also suggest that 32-year-old Joshua dismisses the chance to step aside and instead rematch 35-year-old Usyk.