Anthony Joshua has suggested that he would be open to fighting WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in December.
Last month, Joshua failed in his bid to reclaim the IBF, WBA and WBO belts from Oleksandr Usyk in their Saudi Arabia rematch.
The assumption is that Usyk will eventually challenge Fury to an undisputed fight during the early part of 2023 with both men stating that they want the bout to take place.
However, Fury, who claimed that he was retiring from boxing earlier this year, appears keen to secure a date and opponent for his ring return as soon as possible.
Fury feels that Usyk is in no rush to face him, leading to the British fighter taking to social media earlier on Monday to officially challenge Joshua to a showdown before the end of the year.
Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn has previously stated that the plan is for Joshua to return in December as he starts the journey of attempting to become a three-time world champion.
Joshua is currently on a streak of 12 world title fights in succession, a run which started all the way back in April 2016 when he dethroned IBF belt holder Charles Martin.
As it stands, the intention is to face a top-15 heavyweight in a bid to get back to winning ways and improve his ranking with several governing bodies.
However, Joshua responded to Fury's challenge on Monday evening, hinting that he is prepared to discuss a clash with his British rival.
Joshua and Fury had been scheduled to fight last year until a court ruled that Deontay Wilder was entitled to a third encounter with Fury.
Although terms had been successfully negotiated on that occasion, Joshua was a world champion with three belts and in a far stronger position than he is now.
That said, Joshua's stock arguably improved with his performance in the second fight with Usyk, even if his Ukrainian foe was a deserved winner.
If Fury instead fights Usyk in his next outing, Joshua may aim to fight in December before attempting to agree a rematch with Dillian Whyte at an outdoor stadium in the spring.