The US promoter of Tyson Fury is unsure if Anthony Joshua and his camp want an all-British heavyweight fight, despite supposedly agreeing to initial terms.
Fury had wanted to face Oleksandr Usyk in a title unification bout but the latter does not want to compete again until 2023, and Fury intends to fight before the end of the year.
That led to the Gypsy King going public with his proposal to Joshua as he pushes to set up a 'Battle of Britain' clash with the WBC heavyweight belt on the line before the end of 2022.
Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn declared his fighter had accepted a proposed deal for a bout with Fury on Wednesday, with a 60-40 split in favour of Fury.
Fury also said on Wednesday his team had secured provisional dates for Wembley and Cardiff, with Hearn suggesting December 17 as a good option for the bout.
However, speaking to Sky Sports, Fury's US promoter Bob Arum raised doubts about the sincerity of Joshua's camp in wanting the fight.
"I really don't think Joshua's people are anxious to make the fight now," Arum said. "Because he's come through a devastating loss and I think, conventionally, Joshua is going to want a couple of soft touches to get back in the swing of things.
"Our guy, Tyson Fury, wants to fight this year. I tried to see if we could get Usyk this year and apparently they don't want to do it until February.
"We're going to try to get an opponent for Tyson Fury – Joshua or somebody else – and make sure he gets in the ring this year.
"Eddie Hearn is just talking. Eddie Hearn, if he wanted to make the fight, he knows me well enough and knows I'm over here – he knows the Warrens. We haven't really heard from Eddie Hearn; he's really good at making statements to the press and television, but he's not – I don't think – anxious to make this fight."
Joshua is coming off a second defeat to Usyk, losing on split decision to the Ukrainian in Saudi Arabia last month, and Arum believes the Brit would not want to take on Fury at this time.
"I've been in boxing a long time and the fact that Eddie and Joshua would want this fight is, to me, incomprehensible. It makes no sense," he added.
"If I'm wrong and they decide they want it, they know where to find us and call, and stop talking to the press and talk to us and see if we can put it together."