Promoter Eddie Hearn hopes Lee Purdy can pull off a huge upset when he tackles IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander next month and set up an all-British autumn showdown with Kell Brook.
Sheffield stylist Brook - who boasts an unblemished 29-fight record - was diagnosed with a stress fracture to his foot earlier this week, forcing his proposed challenge to American Alexander to be cancelled for a third time.
Matchroom Promotions stablemate Purdy stepped into the breach as mandatory challenger by virtue of his number four ranking with the IBF and faces a daunting assignment on May 18 at Atlantic City's famous Boardwalk Hall.
The 25-year-old from Essex, nicknamed 'Lights Out', possesses a crowd-pleasing style - 13 of his 20 wins coming inside the scheduled distance - but the last of his three career losses, over 12 frustrating rounds to Colin Lynes for the British title in November 2011, suggests he will fall well short against the technically superior Alexander.
This would mean Brook waiting until 2014 for his date with destiny, although Hearn is eyeing a best-case scenario for the 26-year-old's September comeback.
"He's the mandatory challenger still but he's got to wait for the next mandatory to come around, which is nine months from May 18," he explained.
"He'll be fighting in September and will remain the mandatory challenger providing he wins, but he'll be in a big fight.
"Kell has to be in a big fight and he'll be dying to be in a big fight because he'll have been out for nearly a year."
Asked if that bout could be for the world title, Hearn added: "It would be if Purdy won.
"If Alexander won he wouldn't fight Brook because he'd be a voluntary (challenger) and they wouldn't choose someone like Brook as a voluntary. There's bigger fights out there for him.
"They're a little bit lucky in a way because they don't have to fight Kell and they fight Purdy as a mandatory which, from the outset, looks a lot easier."
Not that Purdy needed much persuasion to try and tackle the odds.
"Tony Sims (Purdy's trainer) was in our office the day before we agreed everything for May 18 saying 'What's next for Lee Purdy?'.
"Then we got this. Tony was like 'Oh, I don't know, I'll phone Lee'. He came back about two seconds later to say he wants this fight.
"You've got to take a shot like that. Regardless of how much of an underdog you are it's 10 times as much money as you're going to get for your next fight and it's a shot at a world title, which you may never get."
As Purdy prepares for an unlikely shot at glory, Hearn faces the unenviable task of trying to lift Brook's spirits.
"He feels terrible, terrible," he added. "It's been a rollercoaster - there was the first pullout through himself and the second pullout through Alexander when Kell was in the shape of his life.
"That was a real body blow because he was so ready for the fight and this one is just another kick in the nuts."Tags: Devon Alexander , Kell Brook , Lee Purdy , Alexander-Purdy , Alexander vs. Purdy