By Scott Gilfoid: IBF/WBA super middleweight champion Carl Froch (31-2, 22 KO’s) gave a confusing interview with BBC Radio 5 today saying that his IBF mandatory challenger George Groves (19-0, 15 KO’s) is the next for him, and then in the next breath Froch starts talking about the fight possibly taking place next year.
That’s exactly next if the fight is taking place next year, is it? I mean, I know Froch’s promoter Eddie Hearn has been excited about wanting to squeeze in another fight for Froch before the end of the year, so where in the heck is Groves in the equation if Froch is talking about the fight possibly taking place next year? Sounds like the IBF may need to do some stripping if Froch chooses to put Groves on hold for another year.
Froch said to Radio 5: “George Groves is next in line, so we’re in negotiations. Potentially the fight might happen this year but it is more likely to happen, if it does happen, next year.”
The whole idea behind Groves being “next in line” is supposed to mean that he’s going to be next. If that’s not what Froch means then he should say something like ‘Groves isn’t next. I’m thinking about fighting some other guys and then eventually I’ll get to Groves sooner or later next year.’
My understanding is the International Boxing Federation has ordered that fight to take place next, not a year from now. That means unless Groves gives up on his shot willingly or Froch vacates his IBF title, he’s going to have to face Groves next.
There isn’t any maneuvering room for Froch because he already had the previous IBF mandatory Adonis Stevenson waiting for ages and never fought him. The IBF is clear that this time Froch has to fight his mandatory and if he doesn’t then they’re simply going to strip the strap from him and leave him with just the WBA strap, and that would mean Froch would be the junior WBA champion because Andre Ward is the Super WBA champion.