Tyson Fury claims he has never been optimistic his much-anticipated all-British heavyweight showdown with Anthony Joshua will happen.
Fury's scheduled WBC world title defence against Deontay Wilder in July was postponed following a positive coronavirus test for the 33-year-old.
With that trilogy contest rearranged for October 9 and Joshua set to defend his IBF, WBA and WBO titles against Oleksandr Usyk in London on September 25, a clash between the British rivals does not appear to be on the near horizon.
It follows a controversial draw with the 'Bronze Bomber' in December 2018 before the 'Gypsy King' delivered a seventh-round knockout in Las Vegas during February last year.
Considering all the background politics and public war of words between the British heavyweights, getting them to settle their differences in the ring anytime soon seems some way off.
"I've never been optimistic about this fight happening," Fury told Gary Neville's The Overlap.
"And even when we said it was going to happen in Saudi Arabia and the deal was done, I still wasn't optimistic about it, and guess what? It never happened."
Fury, though, suggested he would be willing to give up his title if it meant being able to go head to head with Joshua.
"I do think sooner or later it has to happen, even if we have to go AWOL and throw all the belts in the bin for whatever reasons, and then just fight each other," Fury said.
"I'd do that if that makes sense, but I'm not sure if he would be willing to do that."
Fury also could not resist another barb at his 31-year-old British rival.
"He's been filtered, media trained. I don't need to change. He's had to change his image, so I'd almost call that fake, a character," Fury said.
The Manchester fighter added: "I see through all of that stuff saying he hates me, and I am his worst enemy, but I have hardly met the guy, I think he loves me really.
"He used to be a fanboy of mine, he used to follow me on Instagram and Twitter, but as soon as he became a boxer and a famous superstar he unfollowed me and pretended he hated me.
"I have done in the sport exactly what he would want to do and all the things he hasn't yet done."