Tyson Fury has informed the World Boxing Council he plans to fight an as-yet-unnamed opponent before any rematch with reigning heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, the WBC said Tuesday.
The WBC said on Twitter that it had been notified by Fury's camp that the British fighter was planning another fight before climbing back into the ring with Wilder.
Wilder and Fury fought to a draw in Los Angeles in December after an epic 12-round battle at the Staples Center.
Their rematch is likely to be one of the most anticipated fights of the year following a first meeting which reignited interest in the heavyweight division.
However, doubts over a possible rematch emerged last week when Fury signed a deal with US promoter Top Rank and ESPN, potentially complicating negotiations with Wilder.
On Tuesday, the WBC confirmed that Fury's team had notified them that they planned to fight at least once more before scheduling a rematch.
Wilder "vs @Tyson_Fury is officially not happening next," the WBC said on Twitter.
"@WBCBoxing has received communications as our process and while Wilder confirmed its willingness to fight the rematch, Fury will take on another fight with expectations to do rematch at a later date."
The WBC had earlier given the greenlight for a direct rematch between Wilder and Fury following their December 1 meeting.
"Wilder and Fury gave boxing one of the best fights in the heavyweight division in a long time, which has created tremendous popular demand for the fans to see a rematch," the WBC said in December.
Wilder, who retained his title with a controversial split decision draw against Fury, had earlier signalled his desire to schedule a rematch as quickly as possible.
"I'm ready to do it again," Wilder said last December. "I'm looking forward to giving him the rematch as soon as possible."