Former WBA heavyweight champion Lucas Browne has agreed to fight WBO title holder Joseph Parker in potentially the biggest trans-Tasman boxing fight in memory.
Now he's just waiting for the Kiwi's signature for a fight mooted for around March of next year. The bout could happen in Parker's home city of Auckland, or in Australia, with Melbourne probably favoured ahead of Sydney.
"I've heard that his trainer, his promoter, his matchmaker, have all said 'yes, no problem', it's actually Parker himself that's holding it up," Browne told AAP on Tuesday.
Browne's promoter Matt Clark was equally adamant it was up to Parker to seal the proposed deal.
"They've offered us a deal, we've agreed, we're ready to go, so if the fight doesn't happen it' rests solely on Joseph Parker," Clark told AAP.
Despite the Browne camp's assertions, it's believed the 25-year-old New Zealander is prepared to take the fight.
However, Browne isn't ranked in the WBO top 15 and may have to take a fight to get ranked.
"If needs be and he (Browne) has to go and fight for some sort of WBO regional title we'll look at doing that," Clark said, when asked about getting a ranking for his fighter.
Browne, who has fought just once in the last 20 months, would welcome a warmup fight "to get the cobwebs out again" before a match against Parker.
Browne took the WBA title off Ruslan Chagaev in Chechnya in March 2016, but was subsequently stripped and suspended by the WBA after testing positive to an illicit substance.
He was subsequently absolved by the WBA, but then tested positive again in late 2016, when he bought and used something he did not realise contained a banned substance.
"I now unfortunately look like a two-times drug cheat without really doing much at all," Browne said.
"The first time with Chechnya that wasn't me, the second time was my own doing, I went into a shop and walked out with it and I didnt check it properly."
Parker has made two defences of the vacant title he won last December.
He's one of three three unbeaten heavyweight champions at the moment along with Britain's Anthony Joshua (IBF,IBO & WBA) and Deontay Wilder (WBC) of the United States.
"I think Parker is probably the weakest out of the three and I'd love to capitalise on that," said Browne, who resides in Perth, but has started his training camp in Sydney.
There are reports that Parker's team is also speaking with Eddie Hearn, promoter for IBF, IBO, WBA champion Anthony Joshua - a fight which is also being targeted for the first quarter of 2018.