Tyson Fury has revealed that his sought-after rematch with Deontay Wilder is likely to take place next spring.
The rival heavyweights fought to a thrilling and controversial draw when contesting Wilder's WBC title in Los Angeles in December, and then surprised and disappointed when an immediate rematch was not announced.
Wilder instead on Saturday made his latest title defence by stopping Dominic Breazeale and Fury is preparing to next month fight the little-known Tom Schwarz in Las Vegas having recently signed a long-term deal with ESPN.
That Wilder will again soon need a challenger, and Anthony Joshua is next week fighting Andy Ruiz in New York, means that demand is again growing for them to fight for all four world titles, but as Press Association Sport previously reported, the rematch between Wilder and Fury is likely to take place first, and in 2020.
"Deontay Wilder cannot run from Tyson Fury forever," the 30-year-old Fury told ESPN. "The fight has to happen.
"This rematch has got to happen, but it won't be in May, June, July or August.
"This fight, I'm being told, is likely to happen in March or April next year.
"We were very close to a rematch. We had contracts, they had contracts, we were trying to agree terms.
"All of a sudden I had a massive deal from ESPN and they made me an offer I couldn't refuse. That would've been in May I believe.
"Deontay Wilder apparently signed a three-fight deal (with Showtime) before I signed an ESPN deal.
"So this was all done even before I put pen to paper."
That Fury is contracted to fight on ESPN and Wilder and Joshua are respectively committed to Showtime and DAZN further complicates the already-difficult political landscape that exists between the three rivals, but Fury said: "If the fighters are willing to fight then why should the networks get in the way?
"Fighters use that as an excuse. Anthony Joshua, he uses that a lot as an excuse.
"I believe if the fighters really want to fight each other they will."