The WBC have confirmed that Tyson Fury's world-title fight with Dillian Whyte 'could happen' this year if Deontay Wilder decides not to challenge for the WBC belt.
WBC heavyweight champion Fury is expected face Wilder in a third fight, with a possible date of December 19 being targeted, but Wilder has remained silent following reports that he is recuperating from bicep surgery.
Whyte defends his WBC interim title against Alexander Povetkin in the finale of Matchroom's Fight Camp on August 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office, and the Brixton man would be willing to challenge Fury before the end of the year if he emerges victorious.
Asked if the WBC would accept this scenario, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told Sky Sports: "It could happen if they reach an agreement, and they accept that to happen. It could happen yes."
Fury has agreed terms in principle on a two-fight deal for an undisputed world title fight with Anthony Joshua, but Sulaiman insists the rival champions are unlikely to meet before Whyte receives his mandatory WBC title shot.
"There's so much hype, so much speculation about so many different things," Sulaiman said. "There's the position that's very clear. The third fight and then the mandatory must take place.
"There are resources known in the sport that could lead to other scenarios, but the WBC's position and ruling is as I stated."
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has suggested that Whyte's title fight should take place before Joshua-Fury, which will not be staged until mid-2021 at the earliest.
"Once a promise has been made, it was February 2020 then it was delayed by a year, then enough is enough," Hearn said.
"Whyte should take priority over Joshua to get the Fury fight.
"Joshua will fight Pulev in November so won't fight until May, June or July of next year anyway. So there's no reason why Whyte shouldn't get that shot."