by Dane McGuire

After recent reports from outlets including ESPN and Boxing Junkie, the immediate heavyweight picture is taking shape. While not yet official, major star Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have their next opponents lined up.


Dillian Whyte is next for Fury for the WBC championship while Joshua is set to face Oleksander Usyk for Usyk’s IBF, WBA and WBO belts.


A “step-aside” deal which would have set up Fury vs Usyk for Fury’s belt, but things fell apart.


Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) is owed an immediate title shot against Fury as a mandatory challenger.


ESPN reported January 27:


“The proposed deal would have paved the way for Fury to fight Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship in June in Saudi Arabia, sources said.


It’s believed the $155 million site fee the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offered last year for a fight between Fury and Joshua was in play. Money from that package would have gone to both Whyte and Joshua.”


Due to a lack of serious negotiations, the Fury-Whyte purse bid was sent to auction, meaning it will go to whichever promoter offers up the most money.


On January 28 The purse bid went to Fury’s co-promoter, Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions, after a commitment of $41,025,000 at the purse bid.


Fury, the champion, will earn $29,538,000.


ESPN next reported Whyte will earn $7,384,500. A bonus of $4,102,500 will go to the winner, 10 percent of the winning bid, per WBC rules.


The only other bidder was Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing with a bid of $32,222,222.


“I can’t wait to punch Dillian Whyte’s face right in, mate,” Fury, said in an Instagram video Thursday. “I’m going to give him the best hiding he’s ever had in his life. Dillian Whyte, train hard, sucker, because you’re getting annihilated, bum.”


April 23 is the planned date for the Fury fight UK sources told ESPN.


The Joshua fight could take place some time during the spring in the UK. The winner could then face the winner of Fury-Whyte later this year.


CageNation will have more on this story as it develops.