Promoter Frank Warren has claimed the winner of the proposed fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder would be the "No. 1 heavyweight in the world".
Fury (26-0, 19 KOs) fights Francesco Pianeta in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Saturday, with Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) confirmed to be ringside. It is expected that should Fury defeat his Italian opponent to extend his unbeaten record, a fight with Wilder would be announced immediately.
IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) was tipped to fight WBC titleholder Wilder in a unification bout, but the fighters failed to agree to terms. Warren claims Joshua, 28, and his team swerved the fight, opting instead to fight Alexander Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs) on Sept. 22.
"You've got two guys who do actually want to fight each other, providing Tyson comes through," Warren said. "You've got the two heavyweights in Wilder and Fury who want to get it on, and whoever wins will be the No. 1 heavyweight in the world.
"That's not disrespectful to Anthony Joshua. They have stepped up to the plate. The fans will know that and they're the ones who matter."
Speaking in the buildup to Saturday's fight, Warren also highlighted Fury's performance against Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015, saying it was more impressive than Joshua's victory in April 2017.
"Tyson done a better job on Klitschko than Anthony Joshua did and Klitschko was 18 months younger when he did it," Warren said.
Fury, 30, also goaded Wilder and Joshua during his news conference Tuesday, calling both fighters "bums" and once again openly challenging the pair.
Fury's fight against Pianeta (35-4, 21 KOs) is only his second since 2015, as he continues his comeback following an extended absence from the sport.