World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will have only one fight this year but he could take on British compatriot Tyson Fury twice in 2021.
Joshua, the WBA, WBO, and IBF champion, is due to fight Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev next while Fury, the WBC champion, has a rematch due with American Deontay Wilder.
The dates and venues have yet to be set.
With neither Wilder nor Pulev standing aside, those fights will have to happen before any unification bout between the British pair.
Promoter Eddie Hearn says the long-awaited clash between the two Englishmen would likely be a two-fight deal and he was ready to sign now for 2021.
“We have also now conceded that AJ will only fight once this year,” Hearn told Sky Sports. ”Before it was all about getting that fight (Pulev) in early August to make sure we could fight in December. Because of the preparation needed and the magnitude of his shows, AJ will only box once in 2020.”
Boxing is set to emerge from the Covid-19 lockdown with fights behind closed doors but Hearn said there was a chance crowds could be allowed back this year.
“We hope between September and December live gates will return to the UK. There is also a chance they won’t – if that’s the case, we will take the (Pulev) fight elsewhere,” he said.
“We have had a number of approaches from the Middle East, China, and Croatia to stage the fight. We want to give ourselves every opportunity to stage it in the UK but we know it may not be possible.”
Joshua won back his belts from Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia last December and has not fought since.
The Pulev fight was originally scheduled for June 20 at Tottenham Hotspur’s new 62,000-seater stadium in North London but the coronavirus pandemic changed those plans.