Joseph Parker's potential title fight with Anthony Joshua continues to take shape with the IBF insisting the British heavyweight take on his mandatory challenger before January 9.
Joshua successfully defended his IBF crown for the first time on Saturday with an impressive seventh-round stoppage of American Dominic Breazeale, extending his record to 17 knockout victories from 17 fights.
Following the victory, Joshua said he had no problem steeping in the ring with Parker, who became the mandatory challenger last month when he recorded a unanimous decision over rugged Frenchman Carlos Takam.
Promoter Eddie Hearn also expressed his desire to pair the unbeaten fighters for Joshua's next outing in November.
And the IBF is determined to see the bout go ahead.
"We will notify Anthony Joshua that he must fight mandatory challenger Joseph Parker on November 9, 2016. The mandatory due date is January 9, 2017," the organisation told Boxing News.
Parker is currently preparing for his fight against former rugby league player Solomon Haumono in Christchurch next month.
IBF rules state a deal must be made within 30 days of the champion being notified of their mandatory obligation.
In Joshua's case, that means a date must be in place by December 9 or the fight will go to a purse bid, where the January deadline is unlikely to be met.
The other factor which could force a delay is if Joshua opts for a unification fight, which can take precedence over a mandatory obligation and potential blockbusters against WBC champion Deontay Wilder or WBO, IBO and WBA title-holder Tyson Fury have both been mentioned.
A showdown with fellow Brit Fury, in particular, would be generate massive attention in the United Kingdom.
However, Fury's short-term future has been clouded by an ankle injury that forced him to postpone his rematch against Wladimir Klitschko. He also been the subject of doping allegations, which he has denied.