Joseph Parker has booked what could be a pivotal bout in his boxing career, with a fight against Britain's Dereck Chisora confirmed in London on October 26 (local time).
The 26-2 Parker has had just one fight in 2019, a TKO of Australian Alex Leapai in Providence in June. Chisora has a 31-9 record with victories over Senad Gashi and Artur Szpilka this year.
The bout will be the co-main event on the card headlined by a super-lightweight world title unification fight, and shapes up to be a turning point in Parker's career - for better or for worse.
Speaking to the Herald, Parker's manager David Higgins said a win opens a lot of doors for Parker, while a loss makes the road back to the top a whole lot longer.
Both fighters are household names in the UK and are both well respected. Chisora has become a fan favourite in his homeland due to his knock out power and trash talk.
"Styles make fights," Higgins said. "They're a good match up.
"Some think Chisora, some think Parker - it could go either way. So it's got all the ingredients: two stars, parochialism, New Zealand versus England, you've got the good guy Parker versus the bad guy Chisora, it's got competition... so it's got all the magic ingredients.
"For Parker, winning is everything. There's a lot at stake. If he loses, it's a very long and hard road back, and he knows that. But if he wins, he's right back at poll position. Beat Chisora in his home country, and that's a statement. Then Joseph can quite rightly call out the big boys again - the Anthony Joshua's of the world, Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Andy Ruiz.
"So the focus is on 26 October, win and Joseph can be calling out those guys again."
Higgins said a win for Parker could lead him to a "mega stadium event" against one of the big names in the division work millions.
"That's the funny thing with boxing - if you lose you go back to the bottom of the pile but if you win you can be right up in the stratosphere. There's no other sport quite like that."
The bout was in doubt as recently as next week after reports that Parker's camp were threatening to call off the fight as the New Zealander's management team had not been able to get a commitment around drugs testing.
Parker's manager David Higgs told the Herald during the week that they had accepted the bout provided two clauses were added to the contract. The first being the bout would be no earlier than the penultimate fight on the card, with the second being a drug-testing protocol.
"We're delighted the two conditions have been met. Everyone's happy," Higgins told the Herald.
Parker and Chisora are now both subject to Voluntary Anti-Doping Authority (VADA) testing, meaning from now up to the fight, and afterwards, they can be randomly blood and urine tested anywhere in the world at any time - day or night.
"It's a very good programme. Joseph has been subject to it most of the last two years anyway, and they do test. I've been there when some bloke just shows up on the doorstep and starts blood testing and urine testing.
"I think it's important because 1. there's a safety issue - those guys who are juiced up can do more concussive damage, but secondly for a level playing field. As of now, both guys are in the VADA programme and we're the co-main event."
Parker's camp had been pushing to get the contract done and the VADA clause included more than a month ago, but it wasn't until they threatened to walk away from the fight to make it happen.
"We lay the gauntlet down in the end and said if the guys aren't both in VADA within a couple of days we were going to pull out. So they stepped up and are subject to testing now, as are we."