AJ: "I heard [Wilder and Fury] have a third fight lined up towards the end of the year but we have to throw a curveball in there"
The reigning WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (23-1) has revealed that talks have been held with the only other heavyweight world champion, Deontay Wilder (42-0-1).
The pair have been on a collision course for many years, causing dismay among boxing fans that the fight has never materialised, partly due to conflicting promotional and broadcasting contracts.
If the pair finally do meet in their current status as world rulers, then it could produce the first undisputed heavyweight world champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.
A glimmer of hope apeared today as news broke that the Joshua and Wilder camps had begun discussions.
Joshua told Sky Sports: "We've had meetings. That same meeting with Usk's manager, afterwards we had another meeting to potentially put an offer to solidify [fight with Wilder] before they have even had their fight and before I have my next fight."
The WBC kingpin defends his green and gold belt to rival Tyson Fury (29-0-1) for a second time in Las Vegas on February 22. The pair met 14 months ago with the decision ruled as a draw after 12 compelling rounds.
"Everyone wants Wilder to win because [a fight with me] is what everyone wants to see. Wilder has a great right hand, I have a great left hand. It is a great boxing match.
"We had a meeting about that. It has great potential. I heard [Wilder and Fury] have a third fight lined up towards the end of the year but we have to throw a curveball in there.
"Something that gets Wilder's attention providing he wins so that he thinks to himself, 'Even though I have a rematch clause, I'll see how I can manipulate my contract, get out of it, and fight for the undisputed championship'.
"I'm supporting Fury because imagine the local kids being able to watch the undisputed championship fight on their doorstep. I'd love it to be here in the UK."
Despite this news, two-time world heavyweight champion Joshua is all set to fulfill his IBF mandatory obligations by facing #1 challenger Kubrat Pulev (28-1) next. They have set a deadline for negotiations, the International Boxing Federation have confirmed, by the end of January.
WBO #1 Oleksandr Usyk (17-0) is patiently waiting for his turn to face Joshua and could clash with Joseph Parker (26-2) or Dereck Chisora (32-9) in the meantime.