Tyson Fury has been told he must fight Dillian Whyte before Anthony Joshua, if he beats Deontay Wilder in their third fight.
The Gypsy King will defend his world heavyweight title against Wilder in their second rematch in Las Vegas in December.
British star Whyte is still the mandatory challenger for the WBC belt after waiting over 1000 days for his world title shot.
And whilst all talk is of a fight between Fury and Joshua to become undisputed king, WBC chief Mauricio Sulaiman has confirmed Fury or Wilder must defend their belt against the mandatory challenge in early 2021.
“The WBC has reviewed every single weight category, considering the pandemic,” Sulaiman told Sky Sports.
“We have had the flexibility with our champions and the WBC has approved Fury to fight by the end of the year, if it’s announced that it might be December 19, and the winner must make the mandatory defence early next year.
“When the [Fury-Wilder] fight takes place, we will order the pre-negotiations, so it’s a process that the promoters negotiate the fight and a date.
“It makes no sense to speculate on a date, but it’s going to be early next year when they are able to negotiate, or it goes to a purse bid.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn has also stated Whyte takes priority as Fury’s first fight of 2021 before facing Joshua.
“Dillian takes priority,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “Dillian has to have that fight by the end of February, and if it goes into March, it goes into March.
“Anthony Joshua is boxing in December. He won’t be ready to box again until June-July.
“Everybody acknowledges that’s the mandatory and that it’s next.”