Lennox Lewis believes that Wladimir Klitschko’s lengthy professional boxing career will give him the edge over Anthony Joshua if the pair meet sometime next year.
The fighters and their respective teams were in discussions to scrap on December 10 but talks stalled due to uncertainty over whether the WBA title would be on the line.
That idea has now been canned and Joshua will instead press ahead with a defence of his IBF world title on that same date in Manchester against an as yet unconfirmed opponent.
It is then highly likely that the British young-gun will face Klitschko in the spring of next year.
Should that bout materialise, Lewis predicts that Klitschko’s maturity will triumph over Joshua’s exuberance.
Speaking at the Mexican Grand Prix, where at one stage it seemed as if Sebastien Vettel and Max Verstappen might get into a boxing match of their own, Lewis explained why he foresees a victory for the 41-year-old Ukrainian.
"I would have to say Wladimir because of the experience,” Lewis said.
"We have seen a lot of Anthony Joshua's fights but he has knocked out everybody so what has he learned? Where is the experience there?
"You know Wladimir is almost up to 70 fights so you have got the experience and the old and you have got the new and the strong. So which one are you going to take?
"I will take experience but only slightly. When you get experience, you have to look at Wladimir's body. Can Wladimir's body take more going into the ring and more fights?
"I don't know where he is on that level. We are going to have to see."