Tyson Fury remains steadfast in his intention to return to heavyweight action and ‘take over’ boxing in the next two years.
The 29 year-old, without out a fight since 2015, has so far shed almost four stone in weight and plans to lose much more before fighting again in the spring.
With a massive blockbuster against Anthony Joshua at stake, Fury knows he needs to stay busy in 2018 in order to regain fitness to challenge the current heavyweight king.
“I’m on track for my return takeover. 2018 and 2019 will be busy years for me,” said Fury.
“Expect 4/5 fights in 2018 then I’ll be match fit again and still on top of world,” he added.
Opponents have been mentioned across the board for Fury, from David Price and Shannon Briggs to Tony Bellew and a third installment with Dereck Chisora.
The likeliness is Fury will head to UK domestic level or just above in order to shake off the cobwebs or venture further afield for a lesser-known top 15 contender.
Whoever gets the nod, a Fury win would automatically mean he gains ground in the rankings due to past achievements alone and it may only take two fights to position the lineal champion for a title shot.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn stated Joseph Parker was next for his star man before Deontay Wilder in the summer, just hours before reports surfaced of a potential encounter with Fury in the summer of 2018.
It’s not realistic to expect Fury to be fully up to speed to battle Joshua in the next six months and stipulating a date in the mid-part of 2019 at Wembley Stadium seems more than a fair agreement.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay