Fury on brink of beating Haye to Vitali
Tyson Fury is set to face Denis Boytsov on December 1, with the winner becoming mandatory challenger for Vitali Klitschko's WBC heavyweight title, according to reports.
With a victory in Belfast, Fury would be on course to storm in front of David Haye in the race to face Klitschko. Haye has long been linked with a summer 2013 showdown against Klitschko, and has claimed terms have already been agreed.
However, the clock is ticking on both of them, with Vitali thought to have few - if any - fights left in the tank. He recently entered the Ukrainian parliament after the party he heads finished third in the country's elections, and is weighing up whether to commit to full-time politics.
The expectation is that he will carry on, with he and brother Wladimir reportedly signing a five-fight television deal in Germany.
Boytsov has won all of his 31 contests, with 25 victories coming inside the distance - although his record is lacking recognised names. But, with the possible exception of Dereck Chisora, the same is true of Fury, unbeaten in 19 fights.
Meanwhile, WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck has handed Vitali another option by expressing a willingness to step in for Haye or Fury.
"Vitali, unfortunately, will soon be a part of boxing history," Huck told boxingscene.com. "Right now he's busy with his party in the Ukrainian parliament and possibly he might hold a fight with Haye. If he doesn't then I'm ready to go in place of Haye."