Once-beaten heavyweight contender Michael Hunter seriously doubts that he'll be selected as the next opponent for WBC world champion Tyson Fury.

The frontrunners to face Fury, on a potential date of December 5th in the UK, appear to be Agit Kabayel and Carlos Takam.

“There has been no offer put out there yet. I am just as close as I was a year ago, I’m the same distance. I don’t think there’s going to be a fight with Tyson Fury because there are easier fights. They would rather have easier fights, but you never know.” I think I pose more of a threat than his original opponent Deontay Wilder," Hunter told Press Box PR.

“I’m the best one on their list, but I can guarantee they’ll pick the easiest or softest opponent. It’s not about fighters fighting the best people anymore.”

Fury was initially slated to face Deontay Wilder in a trilogy fight.

Back in February, Fury stopped Wilder in seven rounds to capture the WBC title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Following that bout, Wilder exercised an immediate rematch clause.

The third bout was pushed back several times due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

According to Fury and his team, the time period to stage the third bout has expired - and they plan to go in another direction.

Wilder has been quiet on the subject, with no statements made in several months.

Hunter believes Wilder's handlers justifiably pushed him away from a third meeting.

“I think that [Wilder's team] have made the right decision by not fighting. He was already 2-0 with Tyson Fury, I don’t think he was fit for it. Not necessarily physically, but mentally," Hunter said.

“For Deontay I don’t think he was mentally prepared this time around. That’s not to say he won’t be prepared in a year or something. I think there was a lot on him with the business, a lot of people saying this and that.

“I think even in the second fight there was a lot of push and pull but he was still strong enough and had enough control at that time to continue to go on with the fight. He could have had an injury too, but then it fell apart, it didn’t go his way. This third fight would be the worst situation because he’s not totally ready yet, it’s not a good business move.”

Hunter has been out of the ring since December 2019, when he fought to a draw with Alexander Povetkin.