The WBC has voted to sanction a rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury following their contentious draw in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Wilder retained his WBC heavyweight title last weekend after the judges returned a split decision that earned much ire from pundits and fans, with most considering Fury the victor despite having to twice climb off the canvas.
This latest move from the WBC raises the possibility that Wilder could be stripped of his belt if the rematch does not happen, and also weakens WBA, IBF and WBO champion Anthony Joshua's hand in talks over a unification bout.
"Wilder and Fury gave boxing one of the best fights in the heavyweight division in a long time, which has created tremendous popular demand for the fans to see a rematch," read a WBC statement. "The WBC is happy to confirm that a direct rematch has been approved and will create in a ruling which will also consider the mandatory status of the division.
"I wish to once again congratulate Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury for their great battle inside the ring and for the exemplary sportsmanship after the bout."
Dillian Whyte had been in line to be made mandatory by the WBC but could now be a more likely opponent for Joshua at Wembley in April.