John Duddy has turned down the chance to top the Odyssey Arena against Neil Sinclair and will instead box tough Mexican Michael Medina on March 13.
Duddy will be part of the HBO coverage from the Dallas Cowboys Stadium where the world's top fighter Manny Pacquaio tops the bill against Joshua Clottey.
It is understood that promoter Frank Warren not only made an offer for Duddy to face Sinclair in Belfast but also in Dallas but the Derry man's camp declined. It now seems likely that Sinclair will compete in the light-middleweight Prizefighter event next month.
While Medina, 28 wins and one defeat, has boxed mainly as a light-middleweight, Duddy's manager Craig Hamilton expects him to be a step up from his most recent victim, Juan Astorga who was stopped inside two minutes 10 days ago in New York.
Hamilton said: “This is a great opportunity for John. It's a great stage for him to show people that he is a genuine world title contender. Millions around the world are going to be watching this show. We considered the offer from Frank Warren to fight Sinclair in Belfast but this made more sense. He's getting more money and it's a major show.
“John showed in the last fight that he is back to the way he was and after having a few days off he'll be back in the gym Monday for what should be a good test.
“Medina is a step up in class from the last fight. He's got a good record of 28 wins and one defeat and I expect him to hang around a lot longer though obviously I expect John to win.
“John has told me to get whoever I want and he'll knock them down. Hopefully he wins and then he'll be out again in New York in June on the Miguel Cotto World title bill.
“It looks like John is on a roll again and I believe that I can get him to where he wants to be this year and that's fighting for the World title.”
Meanwhile, the man who inflicted Duddy's sole defeat, American Billy Lyell was stopped in the 10th by IBF middleweight champion Sebastian Sylvester in Germany on Saturday night.