A deal for the long-awaited world heavyweight unification title fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury could be agreed within days, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

Joshua knocked out Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena on Saturday to retain his IBF, WBA and WBO belts and clear another potential hurdle standing between himself and a lucrative showdown with Fury.

Hearn confirmed in the aftermath of the fight that talks over a 'Battle of Britain' clash in 2021 will ramp up on Monday and has now revealed he expects a contract to be signed imminently.

Asked how long it will realistically take to complete a deal between both camps, Hearn was quoted by BBC Sport as saying: "A couple of days. There is no reason we cannot complete the deal and then move on and solve the other problems.

"We need to write to the governing bodies and say yes we have a deal and we will now talk to the various sites and confirm the dates shortly for what I suppose will be the end of May."

Fury reclaimed the WBC heavyweight belt by ending Deontay Wilder's unbeaten streak in February with a sensational seventh-road stoppage in their much-anticipated rematch in Las Vegas.

However, he has not been in action since as plans for a trilogy between the pair in July were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, while a possible return to the ring in December against another opponent was ruled out last month.

Joshua may be told by the WBO that he has to face mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk, meanwhile, but Matchroom promoter Hearn remains confident of getting the bout on in 2021.

"The only hitch I can think of is Wilder. If the court order the Fury rematch, and it doesn't sound as though they will, then it is out of our hands," he said. "That is the only way it falls through is if something stops their side. 

"That isn't me saying they don't want it, they do, but if the court orders it then we will have to fight Usyk.

"The WBO probably on Monday will email to say you have 30 days to start negotiations with Usyk. [Bob] Arum seems very confident that the fight (Wilder-Fury) is not on. Unless he has made complete balls up, it sounds like the fight is dead."

There is no doubting Fury's eagerness for the fight, with the 32-year-old having posted a video to his official Twitter account on Saturday promising a quick win in a meeting with Joshua. 

"He got asked if he wants the fight and he went around the bushes," Fury said in the video.

"I want the fight. I want the fight next – I will knock him out inside three rounds. He's a big bum dosser, I can't wait to knock him out."

Anthony Joshua is willing to take on anyone but wants to prove he is the best heavyweight in the world by fighting Tyson Fury, says Eddie Hearn.

Joshua is preparing to defend his IBF, WBA and WBO belts against Kubrat Pulev on December 12, his first fight of a year that has seen the boxing schedule hampered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Bulgarian Pulev – who is the IBF's mandatory challenger – is a hurdle the champion needs to clear ahead of a potential unification showdown against WBC holder Fury, the British rivals having agreed a two-fight deal for 2021.

However, with Fury involved in a mediation process with former opponent Deontay Wilder over a potential trilogy fight, Oleksandr Usyk could offer an alternative option.

Promoter Hearn has made clear that Joshua is ready for any challenger in the ring, though the lucrative showdown with Fury remains his top priority.

"AJ has consistently proved that he will fight all-comers – mandatory challengers, unified champions, future hall-of-famers," Hearn told Sky Sports.

"Now he's doing it again [with Pulev], and that's why when you talk about Usyk, he will fight Usyk no problems at all, but he wants to fight Tyson Fury.

"He wants to prove he's the best heavyweight in the world and undisputed or not, we will do everything we can to make sure it is. Not one person can have any doubt after that fight, who the baddest man on the planet is."

Fury had planned to make a title defence before the end of 2020 – Agit Kabayel was lined up as an opponent for December – but announced on Twitter on Sunday that he will not now be back in the ring until next year.

'The Gypsy King' secured the belt by sensationally stopping Deontay Wilder in February, while also holds a point win over Wladimir Klitschko on his record.

Hearn, though, insists Fury's CV does not come close to stacking up when compared to who Joshua has faced – and beaten – since turning pro.

"It makes me laugh when people look at AJ's resume," Hearn said. "Maybe I'm seeing something other people don't?

"I mean Dillian Whyte, Dominic Breazeale, Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin, Carlos Takam, Andy Ruiz, Kubrat Pulev.

"These are consecutive fights. You don't see Tom Schwarz, Otto Wallin, Sefer Serferi. Who is the other geezer? I can't even remember his name, the Italian bloke? And then Agit Kabayel.

"I mean it's laughable when you compare the two resumes, but it's in black and white for everyone to see."

Tyson Fury has revealed he will be returning to the ring in 2021, thereby ruling out a planned December bout for the WBC heavyweight champion. 

Fury claimed the title by ending Deontay Wilder's reign – as well as the American's unbeaten streak – in February, producing a sensational stoppage in the seventh round of their much-anticipated rematch in Las Vegas. 

Plans for a trilogy fight between the pair in July were put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic, while the new champion has also agreed a two-fight deal to face Anthony Joshua next year. 

Fury had appeared set to be in action before then, however, with European champion Agit Kabayel a potential opponent for a December 5 outing.

However, with Wilder initiating a mediation over his right to a rematch, that fight date has been scrapped, Fury confirmed on Twitter.   

"The Gypsy King is returning in 2021," he wrote. "Only those that have supported me 100 per cent since my comeback will be with me for the glory."

At the start of November, Wilder called on Fury to "be a man" and stick to the rematch clause in their contract from their second fight.

"When that fight was a draw, I told you that I would give you a rematch," Wilder tweeted in a lengthy post.

"You know I was offered more money to fight Joshua than I was getting to fight you. Again being a man of my word, I fought you like I said I would…"

A decision on Wilder's case for a third meeting is expected to be announced in the near future, with promoter Frank Warren telling BT Sport on Friday: "Next week, we will know what the position is."

Filip Hrgovic has challenged fellow heavyweight contenders to stop avoiding him after dismantling Rydell Booker with ease to remain unbeaten.

The Croatian stopped his former sparring partner inside five rounds on the undercard to Devin Haney's points victory over Yuriorkis Gamboa, continuing his rise as he aims to step out of the shadows in a crowded division.

Hrgovic boasts a 12-0 record and while there are some notable names on the list of previous opponents – his professional CV includes knocking out former world title challenger Eric Molina in three rounds, as well as beating the experienced Kevin Johnson on points – the former amateur star is ready for a step up in class.

Speaking to DAZN after becoming the first fighter to stop Booker, the 28-year-old made clear he is growing "impatient" having been avoided in the past.

"I would like to fight the best in the division," Hrgovic said in his post-fight interview. "It will be hard for my promoters and my manager to put those fights together, but I want the best in the division.

"Come on guys, sign that contract! Everyone we sent a contract to declined. I'm not so tough - sign the contract!"

He added: "I'm impatient. I had a long amateur career, long WBSS (World Boxing Super Series) and I feel ready. I want a hard fight, a lot of Instagram boxers just talk, no one wants to sign a fight with me."

While admitting he is not quite ready to take on the leading names such as Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, Hrgovic called out plenty of others who he hopes will step up to face him.

Among the list were Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte, who had been due to meet in a rematch on November 21 until the former contracted COVID-19.

"I need a couple of hard fights, a couple of big names at the level below those guys you mention [in Joshua, Fury and Deontay Wilder]," Hrgovic said.

"I'm looking for these kinds of fighters: Michael Hunter, Zhang Zhilei, Joe Joyce, Daniel Dubois, Povetkin, Dillian Whyte, Dereck Chisora... I want all these guys to fight.

"That will be my preparation for the best in the division."

World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is glad "the truth has revealed itself" after Deontay Wilder admitted he turned down a big-money bout against the Briton prior to fighting Tyson Fury.

On Saturday, Wilder made a string of comments criticising Fury for ending his interest in a third fight against the American, condemning reports the WBC champion was pursuing a meeting with Carlos Takam instead.

During those remarks, Wilder said to Fury: "You know I was offered more money to fight Joshua than I was getting to fight you. Again being a man of my word, I fought you."

Negotiations for a huge unification fight between Joshua and Wilder never reached a breakthrough before the latter's first fight against Fury, which ended in a dramatic draw in December 2018.

WBA, WBO and IBF champion Joshua – who defends his titles against Kubrat Pulev next month – has often faced jibes he had dodged a fight against Wilder, who at that time held the WBC belt, but is relieved the record has been set straight.

"When time goes by, naturally the truth will always reveal itself," Joshua said to Sky Sports. "He admitted it. We made him a lucrative offer but he wanted to face Fury. 

"So be it. If that's what he wanted to do, fine. But he dragged my name through the mud.

"It's hard because at the time when people are talking and you see lots of media stuff, you start to believe what that person is saying. I get a lot of stick but I take it with a pinch of salt.

"While Wilder was trying to make me look like a bad person, that I didn't want to enhance the sport, or fight certain fighters, I just had to roll with the punches.

"He has come out and said it himself. We offered him a really good deal but he wanted to fight Fury. People can take it how they want and see what the truth is now."

Wilder was stopped by Fury in their February 2020 rematch and is contractually entitled to a third bout.

But Fury became frustrated by delays and plans to fight someone else on December 5, with Eddie Hearn calling for Dillian Whyte to be the opponent after his fight against Alexander Povetkin was postponed when the Russian tested positive for COVID-19.

Deontay Wilder demanded a rematch with Tyson Fury, calling for the WBC champion to honour his agreement for a blockbuster trilogy showdown.

A third Wilder-Fury clash has been touted after the latter stripped the American of the WBC title in February's rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas following a draw in the first fight in 2018.

Wilder (41-1-1) has the right to a third bout against British star Fury (30-0-1) but, although December 19 was suggested as a possible date, nothing has been finalised amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Fury announced in October that he had ended his interest in another rematch, while Wilder's co-manager denied claims his fighter no longer had a contractual clause for the bout, which would leave the former free to face Anthony Joshua instead.

A deal for two 2021 fights between Fury and Joshua, who regained the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight world titles by beating Andy Ruiz in a rematch last December, was agreed in principle in June.

Wilder called out Fury via social media on Saturday, writing on Twitter: "Fury Be A Man. @Tyson_Fury it is time for you to be a man and honour your agreement. What is this bull**** of you fighting Carlos Takam instead of me, you got to be kidding…

"When that fight was a draw, I told you that I would give you a rematch. You know I was offered more money to fight Joshua than I was getting to fight you. Again being a man of my word, I fought you like I said I would…

"In the rematch agreement, there was a rematch clause. Now it is time for you to be a man and honour your word, instead of trying to weasel out of our agreement. Scared people run by a scary man will break his contract you coward Azz b****!"

Fury produced a seven-round demolition via TKO against Wilder, who suffered his first loss.

In the accompanying video, Wilder added: "I saw in the first fight when Ricky Hatton was pulling down your gloves to put your fists in the improper position. Y'all tried the same method the second time, but this time, you scratched flesh out of my ears which caused my ears to bleed.

"It's impossible for a brand-new 10-ounce glove to bend, to keep a smushed-in form or to have loose space. I highly believe you put something hard in your glove. Something the size and the shape of an egg weight.

"It's the reason the side of my face swelled up in the egg weight form and it left a dent in my face as well.

"But in the midst of all, you still couldn't keep this king down. You would have had to kill me. In the end, it took a crap-in-a-bucket referee and a disloyal trainer to throw the towel in just to stop me."

Anthony Joshua believes Deontay Wilder could be working on a "master plan" as the American's silence following a high-profile defeat to Tyson Fury continues. 

Fury brilliantly dethroned WBC heavyweight champion Wilder with a seventh-round stoppage at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in February. 

A trilogy fight was supposed to happen before the end of 2020, but Fury claimed this month that the bout will not take place as he has grown weary of waiting for Wilder to fix a date. 

Joshua, who holds the WBO, IBF and WBA heavyweight titles, has in the past been frustrated in his own attempts to face Wilder. 

The Briton, who recovered from a first career loss to Andy Ruiz Jr to regain the belts last December, is interested to know Wilder's current situation. 

"I don't know, so I can't speak on everyone's situation, but just from my humble opinion, after a loss, things change," Joshua, who is preparing to face Kubrat Pulev in December, told Sky Sports News. 

"You distance yourself. The world is cruel. You've got to have a thick skin. 

"Either he's putting together a master plan - he's in a lab right now, with his science glasses on, studying Fury's every move. Either he's doing that, or he's sitting at the edge of that lake, with his head in his hands and thinking, 'What's going on?' 

"One minute you're on top of the world, and the next minute you're not. That's the name of the game we're in."

In the aftermath of his loss to Fury, Wilder's reasons for the defeat were somewhat bizarre, ranging from claiming he was weakened by heavy ring-walk attire to unfounded claims about Fury's gloves, which the Briton denied. 

Joshua is keen to hear more from Wilder and wants to see the American back in the ring. 

"It's interesting as to say, 'Why hasn't he spoken?' But when he does speak, we'll soon find out. For me to make speculation as to why he hasn't spoken, I can't because only he knows," he added. 

"But I can't wait for him to address the reason why the fight isn't going to happen at the end of the year. What happened in the first fight? Why he lost. 

"Was it the costume, was it the glove situation? It would be really good to hear the reasons as to why and even better, I hope he does come back, because he's a great asset to the heavyweight division, and like the Dillian situation, I would like to understand how he found the strength to pull himself up."

Tyson Fury claims his trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder is off because he has been wearied by the American's attempts to fix a date.

A Wilder-Fury trilogy has been touted after the latter stripped the American of the WBC title in February's rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas after a draw in the first fight in 2018.

Wilder (41-1-1) has the right to a third bout against British star Fury (30-0-1) but, although December 19 was suggested as a possible date, nothing has been finalised.

There have been claims Wilder no longer has a contractual clause for the rematch, which would leave Fury free to face Anthony Joshua instead, but Wilder's co-manager Shelly Finkel told Sky Sports last week: "They are wrong, we will fight in December."

Yet Fury himself claims to be frustrated by attempts from Wilder's camp to push back the date for the bout.

"I was looking forward to smashing Wilder again. A quick and easy fight," he told The Athletic.

"But Wilder and his team were messing around with the date. They don't really want to fight the lineal heavyweight champion. They know how it ends. The world knows how it will end: with Wilder on his a** again.

"They asked me if I would agree to push it to December. I agreed to December 19. Then they tried to change the date again into next year. I've been training. I'm ready. When they tried moving off December 19 and pushing to next year, enough was enough. I've moved on."

Fury is apparently prepared to let Wilder "win a few fights" before facing him again.

He added: "I am the best fighter in the world. The lineal heavyweight champion. The two-time Ring magazine heavyweight champion. The WBC heavyweight champion. And before the end of 2021, I will be the only man on this earth with a heavyweight championship belt."

A deal for two 2021 fights between Fury and Joshua, who regained the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight world titles by beating Andy Ruiz in a rematch last December, was agreed in principle in June.

Deontay Wilder's camp have denied reports a third blockbuster heavyweight showdown with Tyson Fury has been abandoned.

A Wilder-Fury trilogy has been touted after the latter stripped the American of the WBC title in February's rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Wilder (41-1-1) has the right to a third bout against British star Fury (30-0-1) and while December 19 has been talked of as a potential date for their next battle, nothing has been confirmed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been claims that Wilder no longer has a contractual clause for the rematch, leaving Anthony Joshua to take on Fury instead.

However, Wilder's co-manager Shelly Finkel told Sky Sports: "They are wrong, we will fight in December."

It comes as Fury's co-promoter Frank Warren raised doubts over the in-demand fight.

"I don't know if that fight can get on this year," Warren told BT Sport. "Promoters on both sides, we have worked very hard to make it happen, but it's looking like it will not happen.

"There's talk about it happening next year. Tyson has been training like a lot of guys solidly since February, and he wants to fight this year.

"My concern is Tyson's welfare and well-being, and delivering what he wants, so he will fight this year. Contractual commitments are what they are, but contracts do not go on forever and if the fight cannot be delivered within the contractual period, Tyson will move on and maybe revisit the fight another time.

"He will be out this year because that's what he wants."

Deontay Wilder has made a bad mistake in ending his long association with trainer Mark Breland, according to fellow heavyweight Dillian Whyte.

Wilder is no longer working with Breland ahead of a third fight with Tyson Fury, with the American's co-manager Shelly Finkel confirming reports of the split to World Boxing News.

It was Breland - a former world champion - who threw in the towel to halt the second bout against Fury in February, as his fighter came under heavy punishment in the seventh round having already suffered two knockdowns.

However, Wilder was unhappy with the timing of the stoppage as he lost for the first time in his professional career, in the process ending his reign as WBC champion.

Yet Whyte has branded his rival an "idiot" for making such a major change to his team, insisting Breland made the correct call based on his own experiences in the ring.

"I think it's the worst mistake he's ever made, because Mark Breland is the only person in his team that actually was a boxer and actually was a world champion," Whyte told Sky Sports. "He was the only person that didn't care about money or fame.

"Someone who was actually from an emotional point [of view], someone who understands, thinking about his health and did the right thing by throwing the towel in, because he could have got seriously hurt.

"He was getting hit with punches that weren't knocking him out, they were concussing him. Mark Breland knows what it's like, because Mark Breland has been in the same position Wilder was in. He's someone that cares about the athlete and the boxing side of things."

He added: "Deontay Wilder is an idiot, he clearly can't see it. Good luck to him, it's his team, he can do whatever he wants.

"But I think it's a bad mistake. Mark Breland is the only one that knows boxing in his team."

Wilder has a rematch clause to face Fury again, though a date and venue for their third clash is yet to be confirmed amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Whyte was next in line for a shot at the WBC champion until suffering a shock loss to Alexander Povetkin in September. The pair are booked for a rematch on November 21.

Anthony Joshua described Tyson Fury as "just another heavyweight" and says his rival should consider retiring soon.

IBF, WBA and WBO title holder Joshua has agreed two fights with WBC champion Fury next year to determine the division's undisputed champion.

Joshua first faces a mandatory title defence against Kubrat Pulev at the end of the year, while Fury is set to take on Deontay Wilder for a third time.

Fury won his first world titles in 2015, seven years after turning professional, whereas his countryman needed just three years to make his big breakthrough.

And ahead of their proposed superfights at some point in 2021, Joshua has cast doubt over whether taking on Fury will be the biggest test of his career.

"Fury has been professional much longer than me. He should be looking to retire soon," he told Sky Sports.

"If he wants to cement his legacy, I'm here and ready. I've built myself into this position.

"I'll challenge Fury, I'll challenge Wilder. These guys aren't the biggest names that I've fought on my record anyway. They are just another heavyweight.

"Look at my record. They are not the best fighters that I have challenged. When they are ready, I'm here to fight."

Fury has won 30 of his 31 professional fights and beat Wilder in February to claim the WBC and Ring Magazine titles.

However, Joshua – with a record of 23 wins from 24 fights – is not fazed about stepping into the ring with the Gypsy King.

"I haven't got fear of Fury – whether he's got a better chin than me, a better jab than me, whether he's all of this stuff that people say," Joshua said. 

"So be it. Let me go in there and prove myself. Show you who I am and what I can do.

"I've fought five champions and been in two unification fights. I'm a two-time heavyweight champion in the space of 24 fights and a [seven-year] career. It shows you I am serious.

"If Fury is serious, I'll take that fight seriously too."

Anthony Joshua could face Tyson Fury in their much-anticipated unification bout before the end of the year, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

IBF, WBA and WBO title holder Joshua wants to complete the collection by adding the WBC belt, which is currently held by Fury following his stoppage win over Deontay Wilder.

The pair were expected to meet in 2021 at the earliest, with Fury facing Wilder for a third time before then and mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev up next for Joshua.

However, Hearn revealed Joshua has not agreed a deal with Pulev and could yet take on Fury should Wilder opt against returning to the ring this year.

"I am the only one that has put [Joshua v Fury in 2021] in writing that the deal is agreed," Hearn told IFL TV.

"So, I have already written to their team saying, 'Just to let you know, we have agreed to the following deal.'

"I didn't actually get a reply, but I believe they do want the fight. So, we're ready for the fight."

He added: "I saw the comments about December. It's all very well saying, 'Well, if that doesn't happen in December, I'll fight you now.'

"We will fight you in December. If the world is ready for that fight, and these offers that are coming in are legit for that period in December, then we don't have a problem going into that fight.

"But [Fury's] under contract for another fight. We're not under contract yet, but we have to agree to terms with Pulev now. We probably will.

"We want to have an undisputed fight. So, by doing that, we fight Pulev, [Fury] fights Wilder.

"If we have to drop the WBO belt, then we worry about that then. But AJ doesn't have a problem with going into that [Fury] fight next. He understands that his obligation is to fight Pulev."

Wilder invoked a rematch clause to face Fury for a third time after losing his WBC and Ring Magazine titles to the 32-year-old in February.

However, a date has still not been officially pencilled in and Hearn has told Wilder to consider retiring if he does not step back into the ring with the Gypsy King.

"If Deontay Wilder doesn't take that rematch, he should retire from boxing," he said. "What's the point? You've been a world heavyweight champion, and now you've lost."

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has confirmed Tyson Fury will have "no restrictions" placed on him as the governing body's heavyweight champion, clearing the way for a unification fight with Anthony Joshua.

Fury claimed the title in February with a sensational stoppage win against Deontay Wilder, though the pair are due to meet again.

The WBC had stated Dillian Whyte would be the opponent for a mandatory defence by their champion in early 2021, provided he came through against Alexander Povetkin on Saturday.

However, Whyte saw his title hopes disappear when he was on the wrong end of an upset result, removing a potential hurdle standing in the way of a showdown between Fury and Joshua.

"We don't speculate, but the time limitations which were put by the WBC board, which had Dillian Whyte won, the winner of the third Fury-Wilder fight has to fight without an intervening bout against Dillian Whyte," Sulaiman told Sky Sports.

"That now has changed. Dillian has lost, so there are no limitations at the moment for the winner of Fury-Wilder to do any fight whatsoever."

He added: "In the WBC, there will be no restrictions whatsoever right now.

"An ultimate unification would be something that everyone would like to see. It's a matter that brings boxing to the highest level."

It was announced in June that Fury had reached an agreement over a two-fight deal with Joshua, who holds the IBF, WBA and WBO belts.

Meanwhile, in a video posted on social media on Monday, Whyte reiterated his desire to activate the rematch clause in his contract with Povetkin, who was knocked down twice before producing a stunning uppercut to triumph in the fifth round. 

"I'm safe and sound. Congratulations to Alexander Povetkin for a great fight, I look forward to doing it again," Whyte said in the message.

"It's heavyweight boxing - it happens. When you fight good fighters, you win some, you lose some.  

"I'm all good. I'm ready for the rematch, hopefully everybody can get the rematch done for November, December time. I spoke to Eddie [Hearn] this morning and he's on it."

Dillian Whyte is well aware of the dangers posed by Alexander Povetkin but is confident he can deal with the pressure and secure a shot at the WBC title.

Whyte is the governing body's interim champion and is next in line for a shot at the main belt, which is in the possession of Tyson Fury, at some stage in 2021.

However, Fury has a third fight with Deontay Wilder lined up next, leaving his mandatory challenger in need of an opponent as he stays busy ahead of a long-overdue opportunity.

Rather than take a soft option to preserve his status, the 32-year-old will instead take on Povetkin - who has lost just twice as a pro and won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games - in the main event on the fourth and final 'Fight Camp' card organised by promoter Eddie Hearn.

Long-time rival Anthony Joshua will be working for the media at ringside, yet Whyte is only concerned with his next opponent as he has one final hurdle to clear before getting his chance.

"The story of my life has been pressure. It's just another puzzle, another something I have to deal with," he said during a pre-fight news conference on Thursday.

"There is a bit more pressure than usual, obviously, because what's in the future. But that is in the future - I just focus on now and what is in front of me.

"I'm fighting a consummate professional who has been consistent for a long time. I'm not bothered about what Fury is doing or what Wilder is doing, I'll focus on what Povetkin is going to be doing on Saturday. 

"He's probably the most technical fighter I've fought. He's fought a lot of guys as an amateur and is an Olympic gold medallist – he's done it the right way."

Whyte won twice in 2019 despite admitting his mind "wasn't right". However, he has enjoyed an extended training camp in Portugal ahead of facing the experienced Povetkin.

The Russian's only defeats have come against Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, who prevailed on points after the bout went the distance, but a slimmed-down Whyte is happy to test himself, despite the obvious risk for his career prospects.

"I deal with pressure well. I could have had an easier fight, but I'm still learning," Whyte said while chatting to promoter Hearn.

"I had seven amateur fights and 20-odd as a professional, so I'm still working and learning.

"These are the kind of fights you need to test yourself, the kind you need to grow. This is the kind of fight I need, a fight that tests me, that motivates me, a fight that I can learn from, a fight that I need to think more about what I need to do.

"I could have taken an easier fight, one where I know 80 per cent I'm going to win by knockout anyway, but this is the kind of fight I need, that gives it a little extra edge.  

"That's why I've got myself in the kind of shape I'm in."

Tyson Fury has warned Deontay Wilder "I'm not gonna wait forever" amid uncertainty over a trilogy fight.

Wilder has the right to a third bout with Fury after the Briton won their rematch at the MGM Grand in February to claim the WBC title.

December 19 had been talked of as a potential date for their next battle, but no agreement has been reached and Fury's promoter, Frank Warren, said the 32-year-old is not prepared to wait until next year to step into the ring with Wilder again.

With Dillian Whyte able to enforce a mandatory fight for the WBC heavyweight title if he beats Alexander Povetkin on Saturday, Fury is running out of patience with Wilder.

He posted on Instagram on Thursday: "@bronzebomber where you at mush? The clock is ticking!! I’m not gonna wait for ever!!!

"There is other bums in the division that I want to eat for breakfast."

It was revealed in June that Fury and IBF, WBA and WBO champion Anthony Joshua had agreed terms for a two-fight deal.

Joshua was due to put his titles on the line against Kubrat Pulev on June 20, but the fight was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Warren told The Telegraph last week: "Tyson is the fans' favourite and the most famous boxer in the world. I want the best for him. I want him to come away from this sport having been the best of his generation. He has to fight Anthony Joshua."

Warren added: "We talk about the Dillian Whyte fight and all the rest but AJ is the only fight fans are praying for. The fight the fans want is those two facing each other.

"That fight should be in the UK and we should be moving heaven and earth to make it work here. I don't want to take that fight on the road.

"Kubrat Pulev has got a contract to fight Joshua and Tyson will fight this year, but the fight after that should be AJ.

"I hope it's for the four belts, but if it's not, it's not. The belts are fantastic, but if that gets in the way of making the fight happen then forget the belts. At the end of the day, fans will be buying tickets to see these two fighters meet, not the belts."

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