Oleksandr Usyk, the mandatory challenger for the WBO championship, is not backing away one inch from his ordered title shot.
The current champion, Anthony Joshua, who also holds the WBA, IBO, IBF titles, is more interested in a full division unification with WBC world champion Tyson Fury.
But in order for the WBO belt to be at stake, something has to be worked out with Usyk - or Joshua will be forced to vacate the title.
Usyk's promoter Alexander Krassyuk says his boxer is still very much focused on getting his mandatory title shot.
The former undisputed cruiserweight champion was in action back in October, when he won a tougher than expected twelve round decision over division veteran Derek Chisora. It was only the second fight for Usyk since 2018.
He became the mandatory challenger in 2019, when he decided to move up to the heavyweight division.
"According to now the deadline is more for Fury and AJ not for Usyk. There were talks about an interim title or the AJ vs Fury winner relinquishing the WBO title the next day [after they fight]," Krassyuk told Sky Sports.
"But as for today Usyk is the WBO mandatory and never gave his consent for the [Joshua vs Fury] bout to happen without him. Usyk is in good conditions now, he successfully recovered from his last fight and looks forward to fight challenge the title this spring. A non-title fight has never been under discussion and I really hope it will never be."
The teams behind Joshua and Fury are negotiating the deals for their unification showdown, which is expected to take place on a date in May or June. The location would depend on the COVID-19 restrictions.