Hearn: If the IBF doesn’t let Froch skip Stevenson bout, he’ll vacate
By Scott Gilfoid: As many people expected him to do, IBF super middleweight champion Carl Froch (29-2, 21 KO’s) won’t be fighting his IBF mandatory challenger Adonis Stevenson like the International Boxing Federation so ordered Froch to do. Froch is taking an optional defense next against Yusaf Mack (31-4-2, 17 KO’s) on November 17th at the Capital FM Arena, in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom. After that, Froch wants to take another optional defense this time against former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute next March in Montreal, Canada as part of their contract. But usually champions are only allowed one optional defense followed by a mandatory.
The reason why the sanctioning bodies make champions do this is because if they didn’t some champions might choose to fight bottom feeders over and over again in order to milk their title instead or fighting the top contenders. Froch and Hearn don’t appear to be interested in defending against their mandatory challenger Stevenson, who recently defeated Don George in an IBF 168 pound eliminator bout.
Hearn said to fr.canoe.ca “We have a contract with Lucian Bute and InterBox and will honor [it]…They will fight in March… We ask this exemption…If the IBF refuses, we will drop the belt and Carl will fight against Lucian anyway. Froch is 35-year-old and he does not want that heavy fighting.”
Gee, I guess the IBF should just bend over backwards and let Froch fight anyone he pleases while the mandatory Stevenson sits around and loses a year of his career while Froch fights whoever. That’s pretty sad if you ask me.
Well, unless the IBF give Froch and Hearn what they want, Froch is going to have to vacate his IBF strap and fight Bute without the title being on the line. I’m sure that’s not the ideal situation because Bute wanted to have an opportunity to try and recapture his former IBF belt but if Froch won’t even face the blazing fast and powerful Stevenson then Bute won’t get that chance.
The thing is even if the IBF gave Froch the exception that he wants to skip the Stevenson fight there’s no guarantee that he’ll choose to fight Stevenson after the Bute fight, because Hearn has already talked about wanting to put Froch back in with Mikkel Kessler after the Bute and then after that Andre Ward. So what we’re looking at then is Stevenson not getting a shot at the IBF title until perhaps 2014. That’s hardly fair if you ask me.
If Froch isn’t going to fight Stevenson then he should just give up the IBF belt instead of trying to get exception after exception so he can avoid this hard hitting and dangerous fighter. I doubt Froch will fight Stevenson even after Froch if finished fighting Mack, Bute, Kessler and Ward. In theory, Stevenson could end up waiting for an entire year for a title shot only to see Froch then retire rather than fight him. What Froch should have done was fight Stevenson for his November 17th fight instead of opting to fight Mack. Of course, that would be a really dangerous fight for Froch, but that he was only interested in fighting the best. What happened with that?