Jamie McDonnell is in talks to defends his world title in Tokyo, against fearsome Japanese fighter Naoya Inoue.
The WBA ‘world’ bantamweight champion was expected to move up but promoter Eddie Hearn is hopeful he can secure the fight in Japan in May.
“Jamie originally planned to move up after the Liborio Solis fight but this is a huge fight and he loves the idea of the challenge,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“Inoue has looked devastating at super-fly and it’s a tough fight for Jamie, but he wants to test himself against the very best out there.
“I’m hoping we can close this week.”
McDonnell is Britain’s longest-standing world champion and will be making the seventh defence of the belt he won back in 2014.
Dave Coldwell was disappointed with the doctor's decision to stop Jamie McDonnell's fight with Liborio Solis because of a cut before it was allowed to be treated
The Doncaster star has retained his title twice in both USA and Monaco, and is used to travelling, with his back-to-back American fights seeing him beat Japan’s Tomoki Kameda twice.
Inoue, known as the ‘Monster’, is already a two-weight world champion, winning the WBC light-flyweight strap in only his sixth professonial fight.
The 24-year-old is now an established super-flyweight star, making seven defences of the WBO version and has knocked 13 of his 15 foes out, including Antonio Nieves, in September’s super-fly night, live on Sky Sports.
Highlights of the WBO super-flyweight title fight between Naoya Inoue and Antonio Nieves
Jamie McDonnell’s twin brother, Gavin, will take on Gamal Yafai on the Kell Brook undercard in Sheffield on May 3, live on Sky Sports.