Conor Benn has suggested that Anthony Joshua would be foolish to turn down a rumoured £15 million payout by not stepping aside to allow Oleksandr Usyk to fight Tyson Fury.
Since then, Joshua has been eagerly awaiting his shot at revenge but so far, negotiations have struggled to get off the ground.
Eddie Hearn confirmed in December that Joshua had triggered his rematch clause to face Usyk for a second time but a date is yet to have been agreed.
Out of the blue, Fury’s promoter Bob Arum confirmed last week that talks were ongoing over Joshua potentially stepping aside.
Joshua has activated his rematch clause to set up a second encounter with Usyk having been beaten by the Ukrainian in September of last year.
However, a battle of heavyweight champions in Fury and Usyk is favoured by promoters, with Eddie Hearn and Bob Arum openly stating that discussions have taken place.
It has been suggested that Joshua may be open to withdrawing his rematch in return for financial compensation and a potential fight with the winner of Fury against Usyk.
Welterweight Benn thinks it would be sensible for his fellow Brit to step aside.
“Of course it does, it makes the world of sense,” Benn told The Source when asked if Joshua clearing the way for Fury vs Usyk makes sense.
“We love fighting, but do you think we are risking our lives for nothing? No. I’m going to wear my heart on my sleeve and say what needs to be said. If anyone offered £15million, and I’ve got a big smile on my face, to step aside and fight the winner I’m telling you now I will take that £15m.
Speaking last year, Joshua refused to shut down the idea of stepping aside in order to allow Fury and Usyk to pursue the undisputed fight.
“I want to make the smart decisions and if the money is right we would have to look at it but respect has more value than money,” he said at the time.
“Will I take the step-aside money? If it’s a smart business move, will it affect my reputation and respect?
“Will I still get to fight the best fighters? Those are the three things I have to consider.”
“No one can point the finger, at all. I don’t care who you are, you’re not in that position. Some people spend £20 a day on lottery tickets they are likely not going to win.
Joshua’s promoter Hearn confirmed last week in an interview with Boxing Social that talks were ongoing between all parties.
“It’s true,” Hearn said, when quizzed on Arum’s confession. “We’re right in the midst of those negotiations as well.
“I think he also said he’s not very confident that will happen, I still think there’s a chance of that, we’re still moving towards Joshua-Usyk and Fury-Whyte.
“When you’ve got £15m presented to you and you still get to fight the winner, by the way guys, who is the better man for winning, so you are still going into be a hard fight.”
Reports overnight suggest that Joshua is indeed ready to forego his rematch and accept the payment, and that a unification fight could be confirmed as soon as next week.
Such a confirmation may also see Dillian Whyte, scheduled to be Fury’s next opponent, also persuaded financially to step aside, though the final details for the pair’s intended encounter are yet to be confirmed due to a dispute over the division of the purse.