Boxing has been at a standstill for the last four months but with a number of high-profile cards now on the horizon, fans and pundits are hopeful that when the sport is fully up and running again, Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury will go head-to-head before too long.
Between them, the British pair hold all of the recognised world heavyweight championships, with Joshua recapturing the WBA, IBF, and WBO belts from Andy Ruiz Jr in December, and Fury forcing a stoppage against Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas two months later to win the WBA title.
Wilder has exercised his rematch clause with the Gypsy King, and the trilogy fight could take place later this year. Joshua, meanwhile, has a mandatory challenger to deal with in the form of Kubrat Pulev.
In June, it was reported that Joshua and Fury had agreed a two-fight deal, and with many but not all of the other contenders dealt with, they are now on a collision course.
The likes of Dillian Whyte, however, will have something to say about that. ‘The Body Snatcher’ has scored impressive victories over Joseph Parker, Derek Chisora (twice), and Oscar Rivas – among others – since his only professional loss to Joshua in 2016.
Whyte takes on one of Joshua’s victims, Alexander Povetkin, on August 22, and if he wins he will hope that a world title opportunity is next. Povetkin, a former world champion, beat Hughie Fury last summer before earning a split decision draw against Michael Hunter on the Joshua vs Ruiz card, but is a +275 shot against Whyte.
Betting sites also have odds listed for potential fights that could happen. Bouts between all three of the top British heavyweights are available to bet on, and Fury is the favourite in all of them.
Fury is also odds-on to see off Wilder should they meet in the ring again. The duo could hardly be separated in the betting odds last time out, but Fury is now as short as -350 on many of the sportsbooks on MyBettingsites Canada.
Wilder vs Joshua, however, would be a much closer fight according to the bookmakers. The Englishman is favoured with most sportsbooks, but some do side with Wilder.
Whyte is an underdog against all three, which may seem harsh given his resume, but is perhaps fair given the power of Wilder, the staggering skillset of Fury, and the fact that Joshua has already beaten him.
But the fight that the public – not just in Britain but worldwide – want to see is Fury vs Joshua. They bumped into each other in Marbella recently and that has only fuelled the speculation further.
Both have been knocked down by their most recent respective opponents but it is Fury that remains undefeated and, as such, he is -200 to beat his compatriot. Joshua showed a different side of himself when boxing a sensible if unspectacular 12-rounder against Ruiz to avenge his previous loss, but is +150 nonetheless.
The last undisputed champion was another Brit, Lennox Lewis, who in 1999 defeated Evander Holyfield to complete the set. It would be fitting if one of Joshua or Fury could follow in his footsteps and conquer the division in what has been a golden era for heavyweight boxing.