Heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury's potential next opponent has been revealed.
According to ESPN's Mike Coppinger, the WBC has ordered Fury to defend his belt against Dillian Whyte. Whyte has been ranked as the WBC's No. 1 contender for more than 1,000 days and has yet to receive a title shot.
Fury said he was more than open to fighting Whyte during an interview last month.
"I'm due an easy fight anyway, [Whyte] would have been ideal really," Fury told iFL TV. "Heavy bag on legs is what I'm after, to be honest. He'd have been the ideal candidate."
"When they make him a mandatory challenger, I will defend my belt and butcher him, no problem," he continued.
Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) is coming off an 11th-round knockout victory over Deontay Wilder in their trilogy fight in October, which was considered to be an instant-classic heavyweight bout. He said he expects to be ready to fight again in February or March. Fury has one fight left on his deal with Top Rank.
Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) competes for Matchroom on a fight-by-fight basis. He's coming off a fourth-round stoppage victory over Alexander Povetkin in March. Whyte pulled out of his scheduled fight with Otto Wallin in October because of a shoulder injury.
According to Coppinger, Fury still has his eyes set on a bigger matchup than Whyte. Coppinger states that there have been behind-the-scenes talks to negotiate with Anthony Joshua about forgoing his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk so Fury can face Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship.
But with the WBC officially ordering Whyte as his next opponent, Fury could be stripped of his belt if he doesn't oblige.
If both sides for Fury and Whyte can't reach a deal, a purse bid to auction off the rights to the heavyweight matchup will be held.