A money-spinning mega-fight between Anthony Joshua and either Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury may have to wait for at least another year.
Fury challenges the Bronze Bomber for his WBC world heavyweight title in Los Angeles on December 1.
There will be clamour for the winner to face AJ, who holds the WBO, WBA and IBF titles and who returns to the ring at Wembley on April 13.
But a first fight for the undisputed heavyweight title this century is likely to be put on hold regardless of who wins at the Staples Center.
Should Fury upset the odds, Wilder is likely to trigger an rematch clause, while WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has confirmed that if the American triumphs, he may have to defend his title against mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale.
‘The WBC convention was very clear in terms of looking for the ultimate goal (for) the winner of the fight to do the fight with Anthony Joshua,’ he told Boxing News.
‘Our ruling was clear to state that if that fight is to proceed, to go in that direction then the mandatory (situation) will be solved. That’s been clear and that’s been put on paper in black and white.’
‘Because that’s our obligation, we have to support it. That is a fight the world wants to see. However Wilder-Fury is a major fight in itself. That fight is as big as any fight. I’m very happy at the moment we’re going through in the heavyweight division.’
Breazeale has worked his way back into contention for a world heavyweight title since being stopped by Joshua in June 2016.
If the American earns a shot at the winner of Wilder vs Fury, that will put AJ’s hopes of facing either rival back to late 2019 at the earliest.
Should both Fury and Wilder be ruled out of the April 13 showdown, the winner of Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte’s December 22 rematch would be the favourite to fill the slot.