According to sources, the 24 year old 6'9" Tyson Fury will face former WBA Heavyweight Champion Ruslan Chagaev (29-2-1, 18 KO).
Earlier this month there were rumblings that Fury might possibly battle 44 year old fight legend James Toney but that idea was apparently rejected by Fury's handlers.
Also considered as possible opponents were cruiserweight-turned-heavyweight Jean-Marc Mormeck and former WBO Heavyweight Champion Siarhei Liakhovich.
As an amateur, Chagaev was a very accomplished fighter, winning the Asian and World Championships in the heavyweight (81–91 kg) category. The Uzbekistani also defeated Cuban amateur boxing legend Félix Savón and was the first and only foreign fighter to do so.
Nicknamed the 'White Tyson,' the 5'11" Chagaev vaulted into prominence on November 18, 2006 when he defeated former WBA champion John Ruiz via a split decision, making him the the mandatory challenger for then WBA Champion Nikolai Valuev.
Fighting in spurts, the gritty Chagaev outworked Valuev en route to a majority decision and the WBA Heavyweight Title in 2007. However, the Uzbekistani was made "champion in recess" after he sustained an injury. He would later forfeit the title after failing to give Valuev a rematch, instead opting to face IBF, WBO and IBO Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko. Ruslan was stopped in the ninth.
In his most recent fight on the world stage, Chagaev lost a unanimous decision to Alexander Povetkin last August. The bout was close over the first five rounds and Chagaev seemed to be coming on in the sixth and seventh. However, Povetkin had a strong eighth as Chagaev appeared to fade. Perhaps knowing he was behind, Chagaev went on the attack in round twelve but his last-minute efforts were too little, too late .
Chagaev, now 33, has won two straight since losing to Povetkin. He won an 8 round unanimous decision in January over Kertson Manswell and, three months later, stopped Billy Zumbrun in three.
A Fury win, especially an impressive one, would solidify the Brit's universal status as a Top 10 Heavyweight.
Ruslan Chagaev KOs