TYSON FURY is "not very optimistic" about his next opponent and admitted "time is ticking" to secure a return fight in July.
The Gypsy King is looking to defend his WBC title in the summer after talks for a unification with Oleksandr Usyk collapsed earlier in the year.
Now, Usyk, 36, has been ordered into a WBA mandatory defence against Daniel Dubois, 25, with talks ongoing.
It left Andy Ruiz Jr and Zhilei Zhang as frontrunners to face Fury.
But Joe Joyce has exercised his rematch clause with Zhang and Frank Warren told Boxing News that Ruiz has priced himself out.
It leaves Fury in the dark about who his next opponent will be and in a race against time with July less than two months away.
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He said at a press conference in Tenerife: “I hear all these names being chucked around but I don’t pay any heed to them until I’m actually in the ring with them.
“As we’ve seen over the last 14 years, you can be linked to fight somebody and it never happens.
"I’m not very optimistic about any of the names until I’m actually in with them.
“One thing I can say is, if they’re going to do something [in July] then they better get their finger out.
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"Time is ticking. They better hurry up, we’re in May now.”
Joyce, 37, was beaten by Zhang, 40, in April after his eye was swollen so badly the referee waved off the contest.
The Chinese star then emerged as a contender to fight Fury, 34, until Joyce activated his right to a rematch.
And with Ruiz, 33, also now seemingly out of the equation, it leaves Warren short of options, but adamant Fury WILL still fight.
He said: “We’re getting very close [to summer], that’s part of the problem, but we’ll get him out.”
Meanwhile, talks are taking place behind the scenes with boxing bosses in Saudi Arabia.
They hope to negotiate a deal for Anthony Joshua, 33, to fight Deontay Wilder, 37, in the Middle East in December.
And they also have plans for Fury and Usyk to finally meet, as US promoter Bob Arum confirmed talks with the Saudis.
Arum told Ringside Reporter Live: “I have talked to a representative of Skill Challenge that puts on these boxing events in Saudi Arabia.
“That is correct [that talks are ongoing], we know these people, we work with them in connection with the Jake Paul and Tommy Fury fight as far as US television was concerned.
“So we know who the players are and we’ve had some very interesting talks with them.”
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