By Cory Erdman
Tyson Fury's first scheduled defense of his British and Commonwealth titles may have taken on some addition meaning.
Fury, who defeated Dereck Chisora for the titles on July 23, was tentatively scheduled to face Ireland's Martin Rogan at King's Hall in Belfast on September 17. However, with negotiations stalled between Fury and Rogan, Canadian Neven Pajkic is now the frontrunner to face Fury next.
Rogan was ringside for Fury-Chisora, and expressed interest in the bout despite a scheduled tilt with Kubrat Pulev in October. However, he has reportedly rejected the offer made to him by Hennessy Sports to fight Fury.
Pajkic (16-0, 5 KO) has had his share of negotiating woes with Fury in the past as well. The Canadian heavyweight champion and Fury have been engaged in a heated war of words with Fury for more than a year. The two prospects were rumored to fight on several occasions, most recently in Februayr, however talks have fallen through each time.
Prior to the ill-fated March bout, Pajkic staged a press conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, complete with a bogus nameplate for Fury, suggesting that he chose not to attend, and blasted his rival. Video of the press conference hit YouTube and caused a stir amongst Canadian boxing media.
Pajkic defeated journeyman Johnnie White by unanimous decision instead in March. He also boasts victories over recognizable heavyweight gatekeepers, Jason Gavern, Raphael Butler and Nicolai Firtha.
In the 33-year old Pajkic, Fury would have to contend with a younger opponent than Rogan (40), and an exciting pressure fighter, pleasing to the television audience he proved he could draw in the Chisora bout.
Corey Erdman is a member of the Yahoo boxing ratings committee, and a host at theScore on SIRIUS 158. Follow him on Twitter @corey_erdman