Junior Witter spent years hoping a fight could be arranged with Ricky Hatton - but both careers ended without the pair sharing a ring.
Now Witter looks at the prospect of Kell Brook v Amir Khan, and believes that will go the same way.
Leaning on personal experience, he feels his Sheffield gym-mate Brook might be advised to park all thoughts of the fight British boxing fans want to see.
It’s better to focus 100% on the attainable - a pursuit of a crack at the super welterweight world title, he says.
Manor Top-based Witter, single-mindedly went after the WBC - winning the super lightweight version in 2006 and defending it twice. Asked what path he believed Brook should follow, he replied: “I can’t see Khan v Kell happening. It would be brilliant for boxing, and for Kell and Khan. It would be a good contest, with Khan hitting harder than people giving him credit for, his chin better than its ever been, and Kell would have to be at his best to beat him.
“But Khan doesn’t want it, he has too much to lose” said Witter, who trains amateurs and professionals at the Ingle gym and runs a general fitness class in Rotherham.
“With me, I concentrated fully on the WBC. Everybody was bringing Ricky’s name up, and when I was asked about it, I answered. But I wanted a world title more than anything and didn’t want that affected by the politics of sport.”
As much as he’d wanted a big pay-out and chance to beat his Mancunian rival, Witter said: “I didn’t allow it to distract me in training. I went after the WBC world title and with Kell’s association with the IBF, they recognise him (as their former welterweight champion.) I think he’d be best going after the champion at light middleweight.”
That’s Jarrett Hurd, the American who has three belts, including the IBF - a man whose camp are attracted to a Brook collision. “Kell is more likely to get a shot at that, than Khan” said Witter, 44.
Brook’s promoters have suggested a July date in Sheffield or London is the most likely next outing for 32-year-old Brook (37-2-0,) who is currently training at the Ingle base in Fuertaventura.
Witter says concrete information is often thin on the ground, even in the Sheffield gym.
“Kell will get whoever Matchroom (promoters) pick.
“But it’s always very secretive until the make an announcement, Kell can’t tell anyone from what I can see.”