Jamie McDonnell has signed up for arguably the toughest test of his career and will head to Japan to defend his world title.
The Hatfield fighter will put his WBA bantamweight title on the line against Naoya Inoue in Tokyo on May 25.
Inoue is rated ninth in the Ring Magazine pound for pound rankings and is hunting for a third world title in a third different weight class in what will be only his 16th professional bout.
The 24-year-old – known as The Monster – has stopped 13 of his 15 opponents so far.
He won the WBC light flyweight title in only his sixth fight and claimed the WBO super flyweight title two bouts later.
Inoue has made seven successful defences of his WBO crown before making the step up to bantamweight to face McDonnell.
The 31-year-old will hold a five inch height advantage over Inoue and is almost certain to be considerably heavier than the Japanese fighter when the bell rings on May 25.
McDonnell tweeted: “This is why I’m in the game, to be the best you have to fight the best.
“I am the best bantamweight on this planet and I will prove it again on May 25.”
Trainer and manager Dave Coldwell added: “Yes, it’s a tough task but we’re not going for the culture. A win in Tokyo & finally Jamie becomes the star his achievements deserve.”
McDonnell’s last fight ended in a technical draw after a clash of heads with Liborio Solis in November.
His latest defence will be his seventh of WBA crown.
Two previous defences saw him fight in Texas, beating another Japanese fighter in Tomoki Kameda on two occasions.