Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez says he is to relinquish his WBC middleweight world championship belt but still hopes to arrange a mega-fight with Gennady Golovkin.
The unbeaten Golovkin is the WBA and IBF champion, and a bout between the Kazakh fighter and Alvarez would stir up colossal interest among fight fans.
Golovkin is currently third in The Ring magazine's pound-for-pound rankings of the top boxers in the world and Alvarez, a 25-year-old Mexican who has only been beaten by Floyd Mayweather, is seventh, fresh from his knockout defeat of Britain's Amir Khan.
Golvokin is the mandatory challenger for the WBC title and it was hoped a fight between the pair would be arranged.
Alvarez issued a statement on Wednesday which read: "After much consideration, today I instructed my team at Golden Boy Promotions to continue negotiating a fight with Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin and to finalise a deal as quickly as possible.
"I also informed the WBC that I will vacate its title.
"For the entirety of my career, I have taken the fights that no one wanted, because I fear no man. Never has that been more true than today.
"I will fight 'GGG,' and I will beat 'GGG', but I will not be forced into the ring by artificial deadlines.
"I am hopeful that by putting aside this ticking clock, the two teams can now negotiate this fight, and 'GGG' and I can get in the ring as soon as possible and give the fans the fight they want to see."
Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya added: "There is no denying that Canelo is the biggest star in the sport of boxing.
"He is eager to get in the ring with 'GGG' to show the world that he is also the best pound for pound fighter in the sport, but we won't negotiate under a forced deadline.
"Now that the WBC title is off the table, I am hopeful that 'GGG' and his promoter K2 Promotions will come to the table in good faith and get this deal done."