NEGOTIATIONS for Tyson Fury to challenge WBC champion Deontay Wilder in December have begun, according to the British heavyweight.

Fury, 29, fights for the second time since beginning his comeback when he meets little-known Italian Francesco Pianeta at Belfast’s Windsor Park on August 18.

He has made little secret of his desire to fight either of the division’s world champions, Wilder and Anthony Joshua, and insists he and his promoter Frank Warren are ready to take advantage of the breakdown in negotiations for a Joshua-Wilder unification fight.

Fury will have fought only four unremarkable rounds, against Albanian Sefer Seferi, in little under three years by the time of his bout with Pianeta. Joshua fights Russia’s Alexander Povetkin in September, but there still remains hope terms will be agreed for him to fight Wilder in April.

The 32-year-old Wilder’s desire for a high-profile opponent and his increased value in the context of a fight with Fury could make an agreement likelier, and Fury said on social media: “I can confirm that me and Deontay Wilder are in negotiations, very close to being done.

“Negotiations are very strong for December, we’re almost done for this deal.

Tyson Fury v Sefer Seferi – Manchester Arena
Tyson Fury eased to victory over Sefer Seferi in his comeback fight in Manchester

“I won’t be overlooking Francesco Pianeta. He’s going to give me the right fight and the right work to prepare me for Deontay Wilder. I’ll flatten him first and then Wilder, let’s dance.

“You’ve been dealing with Eddie Hearn and Joshua, but I’m a man of my word. If I say I’ll fight you, I’ll fight you.

Boxing – Deontay Wilder Media Work – English Institute of Sport
American 32-year-old Deontay Wilder is the reigning WBC heavyweight champion

“Prepare well, train hard, let’s get the deal done. I’ll knock Pianeta into next week, I’ll knock you spark out too.”

In a separate post, he then revealed the potential Wilder fight would take place in the United States, as the champion would prefer, adding: “Next stop Belfast, then after that it’s Las Vegas or New York.”