Eddie Hearn has confirmed that Anthony Joshua is ready to face Dillian Whyte if Tyson Fury fails to defend and is stripped of his title.
Whyte is due to take on Alexander Povetkin on Saturday 22 August, though Joshua is not convinced the British fighter will come through unscathed.
A win for Whyte would nevertheless set up a clash with WBC heavyweight titleholder Tyson Fury.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Hearn said: "Looking at the bigger undisputed picture, all Joshua wants is the WBC title.
"He was never worried if it came against Wilder or Fury. Whoever owns that belt is who Joshua will face for the undisputed championship.”
The Matchroom promoter set out how Whyte could find himself as Joshua’s opponent for a unification fight if Fury fails to take on the winner of Whyte-Povetkin.
Watch in this clip as heavyweight boxer @dillianwhyte lost respect for @anthonyfjoshua and why he wants to fight his fellow @matchroomboxing compatriot in a 'winner takes all' contest. Watch our full episode for FREE here: https://t.co/shxP3TXH9a #LondonRealArmy pic.twitter.com/PWKu4Y0QN3— London Real (@LondonRealTV) August 16, 2020
"We know the winner of Saturday's fight will be ordered to face the winner of Fury vs Wilder," he explained.
"If Fury does not want to fight Whyte, then Whyte will be elevated to champion from interim champion. Now I do not like that.
"But what will happen? Joshua will fight Whyte straight away for the undisputed championship.
"You always want to fight a champion. But if Fury refuses to do a fight that has been ordered by the WBC, then he will be stripped of his title.
"Then Whyte will be fighting for the undisputed championship.
"Whyte has had the bad end of the stick for a long time but could end up, if he's successful, fighting Joshua for the undisputed championship. So this is massive for him."
Hearn questioned Whyte’s choices of opponent: "For Whyte, he has waited over 1,000 days for this opportunity, but Povetkin could steal it from under his nose.
"I still can't believe Whyte is taking these risks. When you sit as the mandatory challenger, what you don't do is fight Joseph Parker, Derek Chisora, Oscar Rivas and Povetkin while you wait.
"What is Whyte doing by fighting Povetkin here? This isn't The O2. This will be the strangest environment either guy has ever boxed in.”
The promoter talked up what these decisions meant for Whyte’s reputation as a fighter.
"Whyte, time and time again, puts it all on the line. He is the peoples' champion,” Hearn said.
"Whyte is not your average individual. He has built a mind-set over the last three months in training camp, although he has had it for most of his life, that he's ready to flick the switch and go to war with Povetkin.”
The prospective Joshua-Whyte clash would not just be a potential unifying bout, but could serve to settle the rivalry between the two heavyweights. Joshua defeated Whyte in 2015, his only career loss so far.
Joshua — the current WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion — also beat Povetkin in 2018, but did not have an easy time of it, and Hearn suggested that the 40-year-old Russian will not be a pushover for Whyte.
Hearn explained: "I spoke to AJ who doesn't like this fight for Whyte. He thinks that this is a banana skin and that Povetkin could upset the odds."
The World Boxing Council refused to speculate on the potential permutations suggested by Hearn, with the body’s president, Mauricio Sulaiman saying: "We can only rule on what is available and what is the reality. The WBC position is clear: Wilder-Fury, the winner against Whyte, if he wins against Povetkin.”
Whyte will face Povetkin as the main event at Fight Camp Week 4 on Saturday 22 August.