WBA and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua's hopes of a unification contest with Deontay Wilder has hit the breaks after Wilder was told he faces a mandatory fight beforehand.
Watford-native Joshua was keen on a fight with American Wilder after defeating Carlos Takam last weekend in Cardiff, securing his 20th professional victory in the process.
The WBC have stated that Wilder must face the winner of Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina, who meet on the undercard of Wilder's rematch with Bermane Stiverne in New York on Saturday night.
According to guidelines set out by the WBC, Wilder has to compete in a mandatory fight against a challenger each year.
After downing Takam in the Welsh capital, 28-year-old Joshua admitted that a fight with Alabama-born Wilder has to happen.
He said: "Boxing needs it and so do I, 100 per cent."
Wilder is also keen on fighting other champions, including Joshua, by saying: "I want to unify the division so bad. That's my ultimate goal."
Against a prospect of fighting either Breazeale and Molina, Wilder would face two competitors who lasted a combined 10 rounds with Joshua.
Meanwhile, a rejuvenated Tyson Fury is aiming to get back into the ring, and he has since challenged Joshua to regain the heavyweight title that he was stripped of by UK Anti-Doping following issues regarding drugs.
Fury is currently waiting on a final decision to see whether he could return to professional boxing. His last fight was in November 2015, defeating Wladimir Klitschko in the heavyweight clash.
And, though the Wilder news has put a possible future fight further back, promoter Eddie Hearn feels that the contest would excite British fans.
"You talk about AJ versus [Deontay] Wilder, but it's nowhere as big as AJ against Fury.
"That is a fight that can be built into something huge. Two completely different characters, two completely different styles, two undefeated heavyweights, two unified champions. An incredible match up.
"But Tyson needs to get back on the horse, and show the British public he's still serious, show the British public that he is here and back in the game."