As the hunt continues for Demetrius Andrade’s next title challengers, significant steps have been taken to establish a mandatory challenger down the road.

Advanced plans are in place for a December 21 bout between Alantez Fox and Liam Williams, both of whom are Top 10-rated contenders for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) middleweight title which Andrade has held for more than a year. Williams took the steps to announce the fight through his social media, although has learned that ink has yet to make its way to paper in confirming the matchup as a done deal.

Once signed, the bout will take place December 21 at Copper Box Arena in Hackney Wick, England in supporting capacity to rising heavyweight Daniel Dubois (13-0, 12KOs) who faces Japan’s Kyotaro Fujimoto (21-1, 13KOs) in a regional title fight.

Even before the sanctioned eliminator was proposed, Williams (21-2-1, 16KOs) was always due to fight on the card. The 27-year old Welshman is riding a five-fight win streak, all inside the distance since suffering back-to-back losses to former titlist Liam Smith in 2017.

Williams shared a card with Dubois in his most recent outing, stopping Karim Achour in two rounds this past July at The O2 in London on the same night Dubois advanced from prospect to contender following a 5th round knockout of Nathan Gorman.

Fox (26-1-1, 12KOs) has claimed three straight wins following a 12-round points loss to Andrade (28-0, 17KOs) in their Oct. 2017 non-title fight.

The slow-moving affair saw Fox—a 6’5” middleweight from Upper Marlboro, Maryland—score a knockdown over Andrade, a former two-time junior middleweight titlist at the time who was moving up to middleweight. It wasn’t nearly enough to upset the apple cart, although Fox hasn’t lost a round since then, including an eight-round shutout of Bruno Romay this past October in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, which helped advance him to the number one slot in the latest WBO rankings.

The winner of the proposed eliminator will then be next in line for a crack at Andrade (28-0, 17KOs), who is in the process of securing a challenger for what will be the third defense of the title he claimed last October. The unbeaten two-division titilist from Providence, Rhode Island has been left without an opponent ever since his ordered mandatory challenger, Canada’s Steven Butler (28-1-1, 24KOs) decided to instead pursue a more lucrative assignment versus Japan’s Ryota Murata (15-2, 12KOs) later this month.

Interestingly, WBO #2 contender Luke Keeler has emerged as a potential candidate to land the assignment, although such a fight remains in the speculative stage. 

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox