The rest of Jamie McDonnell’s year could have been set after an eliminator was made for his WBA bantamweight title.
Former IBF bantamweight champion Paul Butler was announced as Matchroom Boxing’s latest signing on Monday.
And he was immediately booked to face another ex-world champion Stuart Hall in an eliminator for McDonnell’s title on September 30 in Liverpool.
Hatfield fighter McDonnell is set to defend his crown later this summer in a rematch with Liborio Solis after beating him on a controversial unanimous points win last November.
The Star understands the fight is due to take place on an as-yet-unannounced bill in Sheffield on September 16, which could feature several South Yorkshire boxers.
If all goes according to plan, McDonnell would see off Solis and go on to face the winner of the clash between Butler and Hall before the end of the year.
Veteran Hall has faced McDonnell in the past, coming up short in a brilliant contest in 2011 which had the Commonwealth, European and British bantamweight titles on the line.
McDonnell looked set to face Butler earlier in the year and had agreed to defend his title out of the away corner on a Frank Warren show only for the bout to be cancelled before it was announced.
Butler and Hall have fought once before with the former wrestling the IBF title away from the latter on a split decision in 2014.
On signing with Matchroom, Butler said: “I’m excited to be straight in a big fight against Stuart Hall on a rematch of our World title fight in Newcastle.
“The winner will be in place to fight the McDonnell v Solis winner and I plan on beating him in great style this time – I don’t expect him to hear the final bell.”