As promoter Eddie Hearn airs his frustrations over a lack of movement for an undisputed unification between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, one determined man is working away under the radar to spoil the party.
Tyson Fury, the former heavyweight king in his own right, is in California being put through his paces by coach Ben Davison.
Fury’s plan is to take down Wilder on December 1 to claim the only world title belt to elude him during his career.
So what if Fury defeats Wilder and where does that leave Joshua?
Well as things stand, Wilder has a firm clause in his contract for an immediate rematch with Fury. Something which co-manager Shelly Finkel has already told WBN could happen in the UK.
“I don’t believe Fury will beat him, so I don’t really want to think about it. We always protect ourselves in case.
“I don’t want to think that far ahead, but yes,” Finkel exclusively informed World Boxing News when asked directly about the prospect of Wilder v Fury 2 at Wembley Stadium in 2019.
Coach Davison also gave his view to WBN: “Potentially, you don’t know, one fight at a time.
“This is the biggest fight that can be made at the minute in world boxing and it’s been made.
“Two giants, two freaks of nature and we need to just enjoy that first of all and go from there,” he concluded.
Joshua has stated his desire to face Wilder many times before. The reality is ‘AJ’ needs the American not only to win but be willing to meet Hearn’s demand to oversee a deal prior to the Fury fight.
If either of these two things don’t happen, Joshua will almost certainly fight Dillian Whyte. With WBN believing an agreement is already in place for the rematch on April 13.
The only possible way that train is halted is if Wilder complies with Hearn. Then assures Joshua he’s on board with a proposed split, and then defeats Fury.
But all in all, the likeliness is Joshua v Whyte 2 will soon be a done deal. That is unless there’s a massive change of heart and Matchroom fighter Jarrell Miller jumps the queue.
Not really viable though, as Miller would be the ideal foe for Joshua’s US debut. Which WBN understands is tentatively pencilled in for the fall of next year.
A Fury win means Wilder gets the chance to regain his belt, with Joshua’s plans to completely rule the division on hold until 2020 at the earliest.
Even a Wilder win could see Fury given a second chance, dependent on the result. Leaving Joshua clear to give his stablemates the opportunity to challenge him in the meantime.
Wilder has just turned 33 years of age and the American could be pushing 35 by the time he shares the ring with his UK nemesis.
That’s provided ‘The Bronze Bomber’ can fend off a dangerous and undefeated opponent in Fury.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay