Promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed that Anthony Joshua’s next bout will be to add to his current WBA, IBO and IBF titles.
The only other heavyweights with belts are Joseph Parker (WBO) and Deontay Wilder (WBC).
But Hearn says he is coming close to confirming a showdown with the New Zealander.
The promoter is looking at a date for late March or April, in either England or Wales, and he says he should have some news to confirm in the coming weeks.
“We want that unification fight, we’re close to a deal with Parker,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“It’s not done yet but we hope over the Christmas period, the turkey will get put to one side and we’ll work to get that done.
“Hopefully we’ll be in position to announce that early in 2018.
“Whoever is the first stop off, end of March or early April, so be it…but I do want it to be for a championship belt.
“There’s two left – WBC and WBO. The WB is fine, whether it’s the O or C is up to the opponent.”
All of the top heavyweights in the world now want to fight Joshua after he beat Vladimir Klitschko in a thrilling contest in April.
His latest success was against mandatory challenger Carlos Takam, but Hearn now wants him to go on to greater heights to become the overall world champion after the turn of the year.
“Every year has to be an increase on what we have just done,” Hearn added.
“I want to go and become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and 2018 starts paving the way for that.
“AJ is that Willy Wonka fight – the golden ticket, the one everybody wants.
“A lot of people are talking ‘I want this, I want that’ but if you really want it be realistic and come get it.”