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Deontay Wilder vs Andy Ruiz eliminator for Tyson Fury back on? WBC president rules out other title contenders

Mauricio Sulaiman says the WBC ruling on setting a mandatory challenger for heavyweight champion Tyson Fury remains unchanged; the WBC has previously said Deontay Wilder and Andy Ruiz should box in a final eliminator for the title; meanwhile Fury hints a "big announcement" is imminent

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WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman says Tyson Fury has been a 'victim' in the 'drama' of fight negotiations, but expects him to be back in the ring again soon

The WBC will not yet select a new mandatory challenger for Tyson Fury, the holder of its heavyweight championship.

Fury last boxed in December, when he took a straightforward victory over Derek Chisora in London. But he has not fought this year and still has neither an opponent nor a fight date scheduled for 2023.

"Usyk, (Anthony) Joshua and even (Andy) Ruiz didn't materialise. Fury wishes to have the best fight possible," WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told Sky Sports.

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Tyson Fury ‘knows what he wants’ but an undisputed world title fight against Oleksandr Usyk remains in ‘limbo’, says promoter Bob Arum

The heavyweight division at championship level has been dormant so far in 2023. Oleksandr Usyk, the unified WBO, WBA and IBF champion has not boxed since beating Joshua in their rematch last August.

His negotiations to fight Fury for the undisputed heavyweight championship in April collapsed and Usyk is now due to make a defence against WBA mandatory Daniel Dubois in Poland in August.

The WBC may have to reconsider its current ruling on selecting a mandatory challenger for Fury in time, but it will maintain the policy announced last year - Deontay Wilder can fight Andy Ruiz in a final eliminator for a shot at Tyson Fury and the WBC championship.

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"My meeting with Frank Warren was an informal one but [one] in which we discussed the heavyweight division and how unfortunate it has been that Tyson Fury has been left aside without the fights they have tried to make," Sulaiman said.

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"The WBC has the Wilder vs Ruiz final elimination still in the administrative process," he continued. "Such process is not finished. The WBC is not considering any alternative."

Fury himself has promised a "big announcement coming".

He said, on social media: "I know I've said it a few times now but I'm very excited. It's here, it's landed.

"We're coming and we're bringing pain with us. We're bringing a whole lot of pain. Keep tuned."

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Ngannou next?

Dillian Whyte, who challenged Fury unsuccessfully last year, has suggested the next time the WBC heavyweight champion appears in a boxing ring former UFC champion Francis Ngannou will be in the opposite corner.

"I don't know what's going on with Fury and Usyk, apparently he's going to be fighting Francis Ngannou in a huge super-fight or something like that. Usyk's going to fight Daniel Dubois," Whyte told Sky Sports.

"I think in Wilder's head he's going to fight Joshua in December. So they're doing the smart thing. They're waiting for that.

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"I think that's [Fury's] next fight - Francis Ngannou. I don't blame him. These guys don't want to fight. At least he's actively trying to fight and actively trying to do something so I don't blame him.

"The division just seems a mess at the minute. It's like these guys have this massive carrot in December dangling, which is messing everything up for guys like us, the rest of the top guys."

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