Gennadiy Golovkin has been forced to postpone his world title fight, which could influence Chris Eubank Jr's plans to challenge the Kazakh star in 2022.
Golovkin was preparing for an IBF and WBA middleweight unification clash against Ryota Murata, but the fight scheduled in Saitama on December 29 has been delayed amid stricter travel restrictions relating to Covid-19 in Japan.
'GGG' confirmed the postponement on Twitter, stating: "I am deeply disappointed that fight in Japan has been postponed but the health and safety of the public must always be the priority.
"I look forward to returning to the ring against Ryota as soon as possible."
Chris Eubank Jr will face Liam Williams in a rescheduled British battle in Cardiff on January 29, live on Sky Sports.
If he emerges victorious, Eubank Jr expects to become mandatory challenger for the WBA belt, and has voiced his desire for a fight against Golovkin next year.
"I'm the most exciting fighter in the weight division," Eubank Jr has told Sky Sports. "I'm the fighter that the fans want to see in with these guys, so it has to happen.
"I've been visualising it for years and I know how to beat him. I've just got to get the opportunity and it's coming.
"The styles that me and him have, it can't be anything short of an epic war.
"He doesn't know how to fight going backwards and I don't know how to stop throwing punches.
"You put those two styles together and you're in for a legendary boxing match."
Murata's promoter Bob Arum had even suggested that the Japanese fighter could face Eubank Jr next, if he produces a shock win over Golovkin.
"If GGG is successful, I'm sure that the Eubank Jr fight is very attractive to him," Arum told Sky Sports.
"But I think that Murata, on home ground, could pull off an upset.
"In which case I'd love nothing more than for Murata to fight Eubank Jr. It would be a big fight in the US, Japan and the UK."
Sky Sports Boxing schedule
Sunday December 12 - Top Rank in New York
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Richard Commey
Jared Anderson vs Oleksandr Teslenko
Nico Ali Walsh
Sunday December 18 - Top Rank in Montreal
Artur Beterbiev vs Marcus Browne - IBF and WBC light-heavyweight titles
Saturday January 29 - BOXXER in Cardiff
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin - IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles
Saturday February 19 - BOXXER in Manchester - Sky Sports Box Office
Amir Khan vs Kell Brook
Saturday February 26 - Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall - undisputed super-lightweight titles