Deontay Wilder's next defence of his WBC heavyweight title will be against former IBF title challenger Dominic Breazeale after the World Boxing Council ordered the two Americans to meet.
Back in December Deontay Wilder faced Tyson Fury for the chance to become lineal heavyweight champion. It was the toughest defence of his WBC title that the undefeated American had faced and the first time one of his fights had gone to the judges score cards.
In the end Wilder left the arena still with his title and his undefeated record but only after a controversial split decision draw, that many felt should have gone in the favour of Fury.
At least the draw meant we were likely to get a rematch of an exciting fight but that quickly disappeared as Fury signed with ESPN and last week the WBC revealed that the rematch, which they'd previously ordered to happen, was off.
Now the boxing organisation, one of the four major ones, has ordered that Wilder's next defence will be against fellow American Dominic Breazeale, who was already due to fight for the right to face the winner of Wilder vs Fury II.
In their statement WBC wrote, "WBC World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder shall fulfill his mandatory obligations by fighting Dominic Breazeale next. This order constitutes the start of the free negotiations period for Champion Wilder's mandatory defense of his title. If no agreement is reached between the camps, the WBC shall conduct a purse offer ceremony on April 4, 2019 at the WBC Offices in Mexico City, Mexico."
The two American heavyweights are likely to face on May 18th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York with Dan Rafael reporting that talks about the fight had already started after the breakdown of the rematch.
Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. Credit: PA
Breazeale, who has previously challenged Anthony Joshua for the IBF title, was due to fight Dillian Whyte, another former AJ opponent, for the right to take on whoever was WBC champion after the Wilder and Fury rematch.
Whyte, having missed out on fighting Joshua, is now left with few options for his next fight although a meeting with Fury is a possibility.
Today's news could be a sad foreboding of how difficult it will be to get the big heavyweight fights on in the future with Fury, AJ and Wilder all fighting on different networks.