Tyson Fury has informed the World Boxing Council he plans to fight a -yet-to be unnamed opponent before any rematch with reigning heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, the WBC said on Tuesday.

The WBC said on Twitter that it had been notified by Fury’s camp that the British fighter was planning another fight before climbing back into the ring with Wilder.

Wilder and Fury fought to a draw in Los Angeles in December after an epic 12-round battle at the Staples Center.

Their rematch is likely to be one of the most anticipated fights of the year following a first meeting which reignited interest in the heavyweight division.

The two fighters traded verbal barbs on social media on Tuesday after news of the delayed rematch emerged.

Wilder, who sent Fury to the canvas twice in their first fight, mocked the Briton for delaying the rematch.

Fury jabbed back with a dig at Wilder’s perceived low profile amongst mainstream US sports fans.

Doubts over a rematch first emerged last week when Fury signed a multi-fight deal with US promoter Top Rank and sports television network ESPN.

Top Rank is owned by veteran promoter Bob Arum, who has a history of difficult negotations with Al Haymon, one of Wilder’s co-managers.

The WBC had earlier given the greenlight for a direct rematch between Wilder and Fury following their December 1 meeting.

Wilder, who retained his title with a controversial split decision draw against Fury, had stated his desire to schedule a rematch as quickly as possible.