Kell Brook’s world title defence in February may be staged in America - because it would be “more appealling” than hosting it in Sheffield or elsewhere in the UK.
The IBF match-up with Canadian Kevin Bizier is expected to precede Brook’s biggest ever pay day - a Pay Per View collision with domestic rival Amir Khan at Wembley in the Summer.
But Sheffield fans hoping to see their welterweight champion closer to home before then may be disappointed.
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “The IBF have ordered us to fight Bizier. We had an agreement to fight Diego Chaves but if the fight’s not for the IBF world title then the agreement is void.
“If we have to deal with the mandatory then it’s likely we’ll travel to America to do it because it’s more appealing there than here.
“He’s a decent fighter but it’s not the easiest to sell and we need to prepare for the Khan fight, which is what we’re heading towards. It’s all feet to the pedal on that.”
Brook will have to focus on Bizier to avoid the overseas date turning into a banana skin.
But Hearn is happy to discuss the Khan confrontation.
He told Sky Sports: “We’re pushing forward for the Khan fight and we expect it to happen at the end of May or early June.”We’re speaking to their team and I believe the fight will happen. It’s the biggest fight out there for both of them. It’s common sense and I believe common sense will prevail.”
The 29-year-old Sheffielder (35-0, with 24 knockout wins) has not fought since stopping Frankie Gavin in May and pulled out of an October date with Chaves due to a rib injury.
Meanwhile, Brook’s Ingle stablemate lightweight Atif Shafiq, 21, stopped Spanish-based southpaw Santos Medrano in three rounds in Surrey on Saturday night.