Kell Brook may call it a day in the next 12 months - so if his long-anticipated fight with Amir Khan is to happen, then time is already running out.
Khan, 31, appeared to make it easier for the contest to happen when he signed a three-match deal with Brook’s promoter, Eddie Hearn.
The Bolton man’s decision came just after Brook decided to move up a weight to light middle - but he has always said he’d be prepared to go back to 147lbs to fight Khan.
“We need to agree on a fight this year because I don’t know if I will be boxing into next year, if I am honest,” Brook told Sky Sports.
“I don’t want to be talking this nonsense with Khan, him saying he wants it next year or whenever. It’s got to happen pretty soon or I am done.”
Certainly the public appetite for the fight will wane if the slanging match continues, but there is no action inside the ropes.
Brook is wary it will peter out like gym-mate Junior Witter’s attempts to cross swords with Ricky Hatton. Retirement came to both without the contest happening.
Brook, who turns 32 in May and fights Siarhei Rabchanka on March 3 has said Khan is only one fighter who truly fires him up.