Gracefully speaking to WBN three years to the day of his father Jose’s passing, Sulaiman explained both sides have just over one month to agree a deal following WBC belt holder Jack’s draw with James DeGale.
The winner of Jack v DeGale was due for a first defense against Smith, although the fight ending in a stalemate and the champion subsequently looking to move up have put any encounter in considerable doubt.
According to Jack’s promoter Floyd Mayweather, the US-based Swede will be moving up to 175 pounds and WBN’s first question to Sulaiman was whether any confirmation of his switch had been received.
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) January 16, 2017
“The WBC has not been notified (of Jack moving up). In fact, the WBC has ordered today (Monday) the free negotiation period for the mandatory defense between Badou Jack and Callum Smith,” Sulaiman exclusively told World Boxing News before responding to a query on whether the World Boxing Council would approve Jack challenging the light-heavyweight title holder Adonis Stevenson.
“WBC champions have rights and of course Jack could challenge Stevenson but we have not received any communication with regards to this matter,” he explained.
The intention of Jack to move up would leave the WBC with a decision to make regarding who then would be put forward to contest the vacant green and gold belt alongside British champion Smith, something Sulaiman would not consider at this moment.
“We cannot anticipate or rule on rumors. We will wait until we have notifications in order to follow the rules and protocol,” added Sulaiman.
Anthony Dirrell is currently number two in the ratings and recently recorded another victory on Friday night, whilst Turkish contender Avni Yildrim is third, followed by Anthony’s brother Andre and Zac Dunn of Australia.