Carl Froch has recently announced that he is to relinquish his IBF world super middleweight title as he pursues other avenues in his career.
Froch, 37 was mandated to face #1 contender James DeGale by the International Boxing Federation late last year, but several obstacles materialised in making the all British fight a formality.
After selling out Wembley Stadium and gaining a post war British record attendance of 80,000 last year on May 31 against George Groves, Froch felt that a fight against DeGale would fail to stimulate the desire required to submit his body through such torturous preparation for a fight once more.
Explaining to the media in January, the current WBA regular champion said, “I need that drive, that hunger to get me through those gruelling morning sessions, through the tough sparring and at this stage of my career, only a big fight in Las Vegas could motivate me to do that.”
Froch was of course holding out on making the decision to either face DeGale or relinquish his IBF strap, by attempting to materialize a super fight with son of a legend Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in Spring this year. An exception may have been granted by the sanction body’s board for such a prestigious defence but one way or another it just didn’t happen.
Promoter Eddie Hearn was in constant negotiation with Chavez manager Al Haymon regarding the fight, but a number of issues were still to be finalized with a main reason being Chavez ability to make 168 after an extended period out of the ring. Froch being a career super middleweight was reluctant for the weight to be any higher, with Chavez history of rehydration miracles and gaining 15-20 pounds post weigh in.
Chavez Jr has also to settle an ongoing promotional dispute with former promoter Top Rank, with the company adamant the Mexican star owes them one more fight.
Maybe a smart move by Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn to not get involved in any such legal wrangles? Hence the fight could take place later in the year.
An announcement during mid January that Froch had incurred an injury (possibly granting an extension from the IBF decision) and that Chavez Jr was to now fight Andrzej Fonfara – a light heavyweight, seemed all a little too convenient.
Froch’s decision to relinquish the belt has today not only done a good turn for promoter Eddie Hearn, but also to mandatory challenger James DeGale, who will now fight for the vacant title on April 25 against an almost certainly less intimidating proposition than the Nottingham champion.
Froch has many options open to him at the weight now the belt has been relinquished; Bernard Hopkins has stated his intentions to move down to super middleweight, whilst dangerous middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin is also keen for a big fight, even if that entials moving up eight pounds in what would almost certainly be a contender for fight of the year.
The British super middleweight scene is now lit up, with former Froch foe George Groves now mandatory challenger to WBC champion Anthony Dirrell, James DeGale fighting for the vacant IBF title and Liverpool’s Paul Smith fighting WBO champion Arthur Abraham in a rematch of last year’s controversially scored clash.
The news was announced earlier at a press conference in London.