The WBC has ordered negotiations to begin immediately between Badou Jack and Callum Smith with a deadline set for February 17.
However, it looks likely Jack will vacate his WBC super-middleweight world title after he announced his intentions to switch to light-heavyweight.
Smith’s trainer Joe Gallagher is now unsure whether Jack will follow through with his move up after watching him in action last weekend in New York.
“Straight after the fight, they asked Badou Jack if he wanted the rematch and he said yes straight away, but then Floyd said if DeGale wants the rematch it’ll have to be at light-heavyweight,” Gallagher exclusively explained to World Boxing News.
“I’m not too sure if he will move up. They are saying it kills him to make the weight but after watching him on the weekend he certainly didn’t look like a fighter who was struggling, he was hitting big shots every round of the fight. Maybe it’s all just mind games by Floyd.”
Gallagher admits the options are endless for Smith, who is the number one WBC mandatory challenger.
“There are quite a few options for Callum although we’d like the Jack fight next. But it could be Dirrell or even DeGale for the IBF. He’s been waiting a long time for his chance now but he’s ready whenever that chance arrives.
“It’ll be like Christmas day for him once he steps into the ring to challenge or the world title. There’s a lot of very good fighters in the division with Groves fighting for a world title, DeGale the IBF champion, Callum and Jamie Cox. There could be some huge unification fights in the next year or so.
The 2015 ring magazine trainer of the year saw the Jack v DeGale fight first hand, alongside Smith, and was impressed with the character of his fighter’s UK rival.
“There we knockdowns, teeth knocked out, the referee nearly got knocked out, the fight had everything. Both fighters left it all on the line and I was impressed with how DeGale responded for the last 10 seconds of the fight after getting knocked down.
“To get back up and get through the last round after taking shots like he did proves how much heart and courage James DeGale has,” he said.
Joe Hewlett is a staff writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @Hewlett95