IBF orders Froch to face DeGale
By Scott Gilfoid: IBF/WBA 168lb champion Carl Froch is having what has to be seen as a really bad week for him. First he got the news that his fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr isn’t going to take place due to Chavez Jr still being under contract with Top Rank. And now the IBF Championship chairman Lindsey E Tucker has ordered Froch to defend his IBF title against mandatory James DeGale.
I’m sure Froch and his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport were aware that this coming from the IBF, because Froch’s mandatory defense is now due. He can’t just keep his belts like they were trophies to wear without defending them on a regular basis.
The IBF is very serious about wanting their champions to defend their titles instead of sitting on them as a status symbol.
“We sent him a letter on December 31, ordering him to start negotiating with mandatory challenger James DeGale,” Tucker said to Skysports.com. “They have 30 days to negotiate. If they don’t reach a decision, then we call for a purse bid.”
I think Froch is going to vacate the IBF title lickety-split. I don’t see him ever facing DeGale, because he’s like a slower, less defensively skilled version of Andre Dirrell, and we saw what Dirrell did to Froch in their 2009 version. Dirrell’s also a better puncher than DeGale, but Froch has aged in recent years so that even a guy like DeGale would give him all he could handle.
Since Froch has shown not much of a desire to fight Gennady Golovkin, I frankly don’t know who he can fight. With Chavez Jr still dealing with promotional issues with Top Rank, he’s not going to be available to fight Froch. If Froch doesn’t want to face DeGale or Golovkin, then who does he face? Froch’s promoter Eddie Hearn has talked about Froch potentially retiring if he could get the fight against Chavez Jr.
That’s hard to believe that Froch would do this if he couldn’t get a fight of that nature, because it really doesn’t promise to be a big fight in the U.S. I mean, if Froch were facing Miguel Cotto, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez or Golovkin, then those would be big fights. But a fight against Chavez Jr isn’t a big deal in the U.S at this time.
If Froch doesn’t want to fight DeGale or Golovkin, then we’re probably looking at Froch fighting Mikkel Kessler again. That won’t be a U.S pay-per-view fight, and I can’t see it being staged in Las Vegas, because the turn out would likely be horrible. Kessler is aging at 35, and he’s not fought in two years since his loss to Froch in 2013.
If Froch gets stripped by the IBF, then Andre Dirrell will face DeGale for the vacant IBF title. That would be really interesting to see Dirrell facing a slower guy like DeGale who tries to fight in a slick manner. It would be like the teacher [Dirrell] with the pupil [DeGale], and I could see this fight being really one-sided with Dirrell totally dominating Degale.
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