It is almost two years since Tyson Fury fought Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf, becoming the latest in an esteemed line of lineal heavyweight champions.
Descending into a sporting wilderness with only the occasional, off-key remark reminding a tiring public of his presence, recent appearances suggest the 29-year-old Fury is on a comeback trail.
Anthony Joshua, a boxer who benefited from Fury's vacating of the titles claimed in Germany, is his desired opponent. Although Fury's hyperbole is admirable, Fury vs Joshua would capture the imagination like few other fights.
While practical difficulties could derail Fury's hopes of a dramatic turn - "I'm fat as a pig, hairy as an animal", the unshakable presence of Deontay Wilder cannot continue to go overlooked.
Completing the sixth defence of his WBC heavyweight title in New York City last night with a shuddering remorselessness that left Bermane Stiverne looking utterly helpless, the 39-0 fighter had only one opponent in mind:
I want Joshua. Joshua, come and see me baby. No more dodging, no more dodging, no more excuses ... make the date, don't wait.
Declaring 'war' upon the boxer in possession of the WBA, IBO and IBF heavyweight titles, the 32-year-old Wilder, who last fought outside of the Americas in 2013, appreciates that there is only one heavyweight opponent that offers a realistic - and no doubt highly profitable - challenge:
I've been waiting on that fight for a long time now.
I declare war upon you. Do you accept my challenge? ... I've been waiting for a long time. I know I'm the champion, I know I'm the best. Are you up for the test?
Eddie Hearn, Joshua's promoter, remains adamant that Wilder ought to fight the British boxer Dillian Whyte before any deal can be made with Joshua.
It is not a view Wilder or his own promoter Lou DiBella share:
Stop with this Dillian Whyte shit. Who the fuck is Dillian Whyte?
Come on, Eddie, let's play. You want to do [Joshua-Wilder] at a soccer stadium in the UK, let's do it. Deontay Wilder will put Anthony Joshua to sleep the same way he just put Stiverne to sleep.
To sleep he certainly did put the Haitian-Canadian journeyman. You can watch the climax of Wilder's first round knockout below.
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeagueTSL) November 5, 2017
Although many will consider Tyson Fury a busted flush, and Joseph Parker an unlikely challenge for either of the two leading heavyweights, Joshua vs Wilder is currently the most exciting prospect in heavyweight boxing.