Bob Arum played down the possibility of a pullout deal that would see Anthony Joshua allow Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk to happen next.
The US co-promoter of Fury had previously campaigned for the suggestion, but has now apparently admitted defeat in the affair.
Arum told talkSPORT: “I think Dillian Whyte should be the next fight for Tyson Fury.
“We’re talking about Usyk beating Joshua – Joshua has a rematch clause – and we’re talking about Joshua retiring.
“But Joshua won’t step down unless he guarantees Fury’s winner against Usyk, and how does anyone secure him when Whyte is in the obligatory position?”
“So the way I think it’s going to fall is Fury vs. Whyte and I think this fight [should be] UK.
AJ had previously insisted that he had no plans to withdraw from his rematch with Usyk, but did not completely rule out the idea.
Joshua told iFL TV, “I think people know not to come around with this garbage.
“I think people know not to come near me with these *** bulls.” Maybe it came to my team, but I think they would know not to bring it to me on the minute.
“Let me be honest with you, at this point in my career it’s not about money, it’s about respect.
“You have to watch what I want from this game. Number one is respect – you don’t have to love me, but you will respect me.
“The second thing is to become a returning fighter – someone who was ready to fight the best in their division.
“That’s why I’ll still fight anyone to this day, because I think it’s going to be part of my legacy, the best CV, the best heavyweight champion, three-time heavyweight champion, all that. He’s a throwback fighter.
“In terms of withdrawal, I don’t know if that corresponds to what I defend morally.
“But let me be true with you, I also want to be known as one of the smartest businessmen…
“If the money is fair we have to look at it, but respect for me is worth a lot more than money.
“It’s about respect first, what I’m known for when I leave this heavyweight division, and the third thing is the smartest businessman.
“Would I take the money from the withdrawal?” Whether this is a smart business decision? Will it affect my reputation and respect? Will I still fight the best fighters?
“I have to consider these three things in my career. These are the three things and the three principles that I really stand for when it comes to fighting.