David Haye believes Tyson Fury is running scared but warns the new world heavyweight champion financial reasons could force a bout between the two eventually.
Fury became the WBA, WBO and IBF king on Saturday when he shocked Wladimir Klitschko on points in Dusseldorf – and his victory prompted the likes of Haye and WBC champion Deontay Wilder to express their interest in fighting him in 2016.
Fury (25-0-KO18) was quick to pour cold water on the possibility of facing Haye (26-2-KO24), who twice pulled out of bouts with the Mancunian in 2013 – but the Londoner believes Fury is in need of both him and America's knockout specialist Wilder (35-0-KO34).
Haye, who fights for the first time since 2012 when he faces Marc de Mori on January 16, told Sky Sports News HQ: "I want to work my way up to mandatory position. I know one of the first statements he made was: 'I'm not fighting David Haye or Deontay Wilder.'
"So the two biggest punchers in the division, the two people who would be favourite to knock him out, he's already says he's not fighting them straight away. It kind of shows what type of guy he is, in my opinion.
"I'll work my way up. If he says he'd rather give me the belt than fight me if I'm mandatory, that shows what he's like as a man and a fighter. I'll have the belts around my waits whether I have to fight him or someone else. I'll be unified champion at some point.
"I know he doesn't want to fight me. The only reason he wanted to back in 2013 was that he was going to get £5m out of the situation. Money talks nine times out of 10.
"I'm fine with it. I don't need Tyson Fury. I can make money without him – he needs big names now. Although he's champion, we'll see how much money he generates."
Next year looks set to be a stellar year for British heavyweight boxing with the likes of Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte also hoping to earn world title shots.