Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver have forfeited light heavyweight world titles to fight each other next month.
Tarver will relinquish his World Boxing Council crown
Promoters for the fight said Tarver would relinquish his World Boxing Council crown and Johnson his International Boxing Federation title.
Both men asked their sanctioning bodies to allow the fight rather than facing mandatory challengers but were denied.
"I have concluded that the best route for me and my family is to fight Glen Johnson on December 18," Tarver said.
The WBC had asked American Tarver to fight Australian Paul Briggs and Jamaican Johnson was required to face Rico Hoye.
Sheffield's Clinton Woods could now land his fourth world title shot, against unbeaten American Hoye.
Johnson took the IBF crown by a unanimous decision over Woods last February.
"We all had to look to the future of (Johnson's) family and kids, which is the one aspect of this ordeal I'm very proud to deliver to our fighter," said Johnson's promoter Dan Goossen.