Tyson Fury could fight Anthony Joshua next instead of completing a Deontay Wilder trilogy, according to promoter Bob Arum.
A heavyweight unification fight between Fury and Joshua has been much anticipated since the Gypsy King stopped Wilder in the seventh round in their February rematch.
Fury was due to meet the Bronze Bomber for a third time in July under the terms of their contract, but the the fight was postponed until first October and then December by the coronavirus pandemic.
And when a date could not be secured this year, Fury walked away.
Wilder’s camp want the trilogy fight to go ahead, and a judge in the US is reviewing the contract with Fury.
But Arum insists Fury is clear to fight Joshua next in an all-British showdown – if the WBA, IBF and WBO champion beats Kubrat Pulev in a mandatory defence on December 12.
Asked by iFL TV what will happen if Joshua beats Pulev, Arum said: “Then I’m sure Fury will want to go right to a Joshua fight.
“And then there’s a rematch… so that knocks Wilder out, and then the Wilder people will be in arbitration with Fury and ourselves trying to interpret the contract to say that Fury is still obligated to fight Wilder.
“But I assure you that’s not the case, the contract is clear. But do they have the right to bring this to arbitration? Yes.”
However, Arum urged the boxing world to wait until the result of Joshua vs Kulev before speculating as to who will fight who.
“I’ve given everybody the word – wait for the Pulev Joshua,” he said.
“If Pulev wins there’s no Joshua because then he has a rematch with Pulev, so that takes care of a good part of next year for Joshua.
“So that leaves Wilder as the best guy. So if Pulev beats Joshua, we’ll talk to Fury about doing the Wilder fight probably the end of February.
“By the end of February hopefully the pandemic will be under control and we’ll be able to put the fight in Allegiant Stadium, this magnificent, huge stadium [in Nevada] and do it for 15,000 or 20,000 people.
“It’s well and good for Fury to say ‘I want to fight Joshua’, but who knows if Joshua’s going to be around after he fights my guy Pulev?”