The World Boxing Organization (WBO) has officially ordered its mandatory contender in the heavyweight division Oleksandr Usyk to face the UK's Joe Joyce, the second-highest heavyweight in the organization's rankings, Talksport.com reports.
Usyk's bout against Joyce allows Anthony Joshua to hold a unification bout against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in an unprecedented English derby for all major belts.
Thus, the winner of Usyk-Joyce will be able to claim its right to fight for the WBO belt against the undisputed champion.
Eddie Hearn, who co-promoted Usyk's last two bouts, said that Usyk vs Joyce was likely heading to purse bids.
As we reported earlier, Joshua's last bout took place on December 12 - the Brit defended his heavyweight titles by knocking out Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in the ninth round.
After the bout, Joshua asked the crowd to decide who he would next face. Fans cheered loudly at the hearing of Fury's name.
He said: "Whoever has got the belt, I want the belt. If that is Tyson Fury, let it be!"