The World Boxing Council (WBC) has ordered an all-British heavyweight meeting of Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte.
Fury is reigning WBC heavyweight champion, since his first victory over Deontay Wilder in February of 2020. Whyte was crowned WBC interim heavyweight champion courtesy of his stoppage of Alexander Povetkin in Gibraltar in March.
A brief statement released on Tuesday evening read, "The WBC hereby orders the start of the free negotiations period pursuant to the WBC Rules & Regulations for the mandatory bout between WBC World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury and Mandatory Challenger and WBC Interim World Champion Dillian Whyte."
Fury's next fight had appeared a nebulous prospect up until that announcement.
Planned bouts with Anthony Joshua have been kicked further and further down the road, and the unbeaten 'Gypsy King' told The Telegraph this week, "I have nothing to prove."
Crucially though, he added, "“But I do have plenty more to earn. That’s how we roll.
"I made so little for years, nine grand for my first fight, two grand after that. I even had a fight for free.
"I made fuck all for years so I’m not going to walk away now when I can earn money and give my kids a better life.”
In typical Fury fashion, he was unconcerned about who he may face next in the ring.
"There are no easy ones, they are all tough," he said, "Anthony Joshua would be good.
"But I don’t care who I fight. They are all bums in the shower. Joshua, Whyte, Usyk, whoever, I’ll fight them all.
"It could be Barney Rubble for all I care. Whoever they get me - if it makes financial sense, and the credibility that goes with it.
“But I won’t be playing to anyone else’s tune. Whatever makes the most sense. I will do what makes the most sense to me.
"[Oleksandr] Usyk has the [WBO, IBF & IBO] titles, Joshua has the name. Or at least he did until he had his arse handed to him by Usyk.
"I dance to my own tune as I have always done.”
For his part, Whyte claims Fury has been running scared of him - telling Sky Sports last month, "Obviously he says he's a fighting man and a man of his word, but we all know he talks a lot of shit, so let's see.
"He said he was going to fight me after he beat Wilder, then he ran away. Let's see what he does."