Ricky Hatton is ready to relinquish the last of his hard-earned world title belts and revert to the role of challenger for a clash with IBF light-welterweight champion Juan Urango.
Hatton's attempt to win back the title he initially claimed by beating Kostya Tszyu in Manchester last year is set to take place in Atlanta on the weekend of December 9.
But the contest will come at a price, with Hatton forced to give up the WBA welterweight title he has held since his close points victory over Luis Collazo in Boston three months ago.
While Hatton's handlers are denying Stateside reports that the Urango bout is an entirely done deal, they confirmed it is nearing completion and should be officially announced next week.
Hatton's promoter Dennis Hobson said: "We are finalising negotiations at the moment and it is not far away. Certainly moving back down to 140lb for a fight with Urango is our preferred route."
In the wake of his win over Collazo, Hatton and his trainer Billy Graham strongly intimated his future lay back down at the lighter weight where there are now many more marketable matches.
Were Hatton to insist upon keeping his WBA title he would be forced into the unattractive task of facing mandatory contender Oktay Urkal, an overdue bout which has already been put out to purse bids.
But despite Floyd Mayweather's imminent WBC welterweight challenge to champion Carlos Baldomir, Hatton has clearly come to the conclusion that the most appealing options lie at the lower weight.
Lightweight stars Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo have implied they will soon be moving up - and Junior Witter will come back into the equation if he wins the WBC title next month.
Hobson added: "There are a number of fights to whet your appetite at 140lb and I certainly would not discount a domestic fight with Junior Witter if he wins in style.
"Ricky is still the main man at light-welterweight whether he has got a title or not. If he beats Urango and gets his title back there is any number of mouth-watering fights to be made."
The 25-year-old, Colombian-born Urango is unbeaten in 17 professional fights and claimed the title with a unanimous points win over Naoufel Ben Rabah in June.
Urango's handlers claim the bout against Hatton has been signed and sealed for some time with only the exact date and venue remaining to be rubber-stamped.
Luis Navarro, head of Urango's promoters Coalition Boxing, said: "This fight of a lifetime has already been signed and a tentative date and venue has been scheduled.
"Urango is young and in great shape and will be making his mark before the end of the year. We have had a signed contract to fight Ricky Hatton now for a few weeks."