Anthony Crolla must face interim challenger Ismael Barroso next after the WBA laid down their stipulation for the lightweight title.
The 29 year-old Briton, who realised his dream of claiming a recognised title last November in his hometown of Manchester, has less than a month to agree a deal to battle the hard-hitting Venezuelan.
“The World Championships Committee of the World Boxing Association, attached to the rule C.11 (a), decided that the British Champion Anthony Crolla must fight against interim champion Ismael Barroso before April 12,” said a WBA statement.
“The parties have 30 days to reach an agreement or the fight will be called to purse bids. Both parties were duly notified and are presumed to know the rules of the World Boxing Association.”
Barroso earned his spot with a crushing knockout win over Crolla’s stablemate Kevin Mitchell in December, ending promoter Eddie Hearn’s hopes of staging an all-British world title contest in London on April 9.
Hearn may still decide to add the clash to the Anthony Joshua headlined date, although there is also the option of a first defence for Crolla in Manchester on an alternative night.
The 135lb limit is currently buzzing in the UK with WBO belt holder Terry Flanagan scheduled to face Derry Mathews next month with Crolla linked to facing the winner later in the year.