WBC order Badou Jack and Callum Smith negotiations
By Peter Gilbert
Last Updated: 16/01/17 10:23pm
Badou Jack has been told he must defend his WBC super-middleweight title against mandatory challenger Callum Smith.
Jack put his title on the line against IBF champion James DeGale in New York on Saturday night in what is expected to be a contender for fight of the year.
After 12 thrilling rounds, the judges at the Barclays Center were unable to split the pair and a majority draw was declared with each fighter retaining his own belt.
DeGale called for an immediate rematch but the WBC has reacted by ordering immediate negotiations between Jack and Smith’s promoters with a deadline of February 17 before the fight goes to purse bids.
Promoter Floyd Mayweather, representing Jack, ruled out a rematch in the post-fight press conference and said his fighter, who struggles to make the 168lbs limit, would be moving up to light-heavyweight.
‘The Ripper’ stressed he would rather fight WBC light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson rather than face DeGale a second time, while WBA, IBF and WBO champion Andre Ward is also an obvious target.
If Jack keeps to his word and does step up in weight, Smith will be offered the opportunity to fight Anthony Dirrell for the vacant title.
DeGale, who suffered a perforated eardrum and lost one of his front teeth against Jack, is now expected to make the fourth defence of his IBF title against mandatory challenger Jose Uzcategui.