The World Boxing Council (WBC) has confirmed that a rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury is off for the time being.
American WBC champion Wilder and British challenger Fury fought out a draw in Los Angeles in December and it had been expected they would return to the ring.
However, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said that Fury will now take on another bout before the potential rematch.
In a statement Sulaiman said: “Bronze Bomber vs Tyson Fury is officially not happening next. While WBC champion Wilder confirmed his willingness to fight the rematch, Fury will take on another fight with expectations to do the rematch at a later date.
“It feels like someone let all the air out of the balloon. We are at great moment in the heavyweight division and there was a lot of excitement for this rematch, and we lost a couple of months waiting to get this done.
“I will go to the WBC board and discuss it. The position from Wilder was to officially seek the rematch through the WBC mandate. So we’ll look at this and make a determination quickly.”
Sulaiman remains “confident” that part two between Wilder and Fury will take place, the BBC reports, while Fury’s promoter Frank Warren hopes that a rematch could be held in September or October.
TalkSPORT reports that Fury has recently signed a lucrative deal with Top Rank which sees ESPN become the exclusive broadcaster of his fights in the United States.
Warren says that Fury will now have an “exposure” fight in the US. He said: “It’s not our doing. ESPN and Top Rank are insisting that they want to give Tyson an exposure fight in the US first, and then go to this fight [against Wilder] afterwards.
“It’s unfortunate, but I’m hoping we get this fight on in September or October. Fingers crossed. I’m hoping that this Wilder fight does go on. I’m very disappointed that we’re not going straight to it but it’s beyond our control.”