Boxing - Froch willing to vacate title for Kessler rematch

Carl Froch is on the verge of finding out whether Mikkel Kessler will fight him again, but may lose his IBF super middleweight title to do so.


Froch suffered the first defeat of his professional career to the Dane in Denmark nearly three years ago, and is eager to avenge the loss in a second bout.

The IBF, however, have installed Haiti-born Canadian Adonis Stevenson (19-1) as mandatory challenger to ‘The Cobra’, and have the option to remove Froch as their champion if he does not take the fight.

This hasn’t deterred the 36-year-old nor his promoter Eddie Hearn, who want Kessler to accept their offer and come to England for a champion vs champion contest.

Kessler knocked out Northern Irishman Brian Magee last month to regain the WBA title, and Hearn admits that could be the only belt on display if the ‘Viking Warrior’ battles Froch again.

"We should know something in the next few days," he told the Nottingham Post.

"If the Kessler fight is finalised we can apply for exemption from the IBF. If we have to give up the belt to fight Kessler, so be it."

Kessler is 46-2, and has been offered an even split of the purse to fight in Britain, possibly in a stadium fight at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground.

"Considering we bring 70 per cent to the pot, it is a very generous offer,” Hearn added.

“It is a lot of money, but it is the only way we can get him here.

"It is up to him now. Does he come here for a re-match with Carl or take another easy defence in Copenhagen?"

Froch claimed weeks ago he aimed to fight three former opponents for a second time, and with Lucian Bute – whom Froch defeated for the title in May – appearing reluctant to trigger a rematch clause and Andre Ward out injured, a failure to set up the Kessler bout would see him relent to defend against Stevenson.

"Carl is eager to avenge the Kessler loss but Mikkel seems worried about coming over here." Hearn told the Daily Mail.

"If he doesn't sign in the next few days we will go to purse bids on January 15 for a mandatory challenge from Stevenson. It's that simple."

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