Top 5 opponents for Carl Froch

Credit: Will Hart - HBO

What’s next for Froch?

Ever since Carl Froch beat Mikkel Kessler in their long awaited rematch back in May, boxing fans and pundits alike have been speculating on what would be the Brit’s next step. Froch’s preferred option would be a rematch with Andre Ward, but with the American still out of action due to injuries, Froch is looking to line up something in the meantime.

Just this week the Nottingham fighter has been linked with two more names, with Eddie Hearn, Froch’s promoter, having discussed the possibility of the Cobra facing domestic foe George Groves and middleweight king Gennady Golovkin. With an announcement set for some stage in the coming week we run through the possible candidates for Froch’s next fight.

Gennady Golovkin

Credit: Will Hart - HBO

Credit: Will Hart – HBO

Personally this would be my favorite fight to see, as it matches probably the most feared puncher in the sport in Golovkin, against one of the toughest in Froch. The Kazakh has stopped 24 of his 27 opponents, most recently Matthew Macklin in devastating fashion, but has been largely avoided by the middleweight division’s biggest names. As such, a super fight with Froch could appeal to Golovkin and his management team, with the fight bound to be huge on both sides of the Atlantic.

However, as exciting it would be, it looks unlikely at this stage, due to the fact that it would require Golovkin to move up in weight. There are still plenty of fish to fry for Golovkin at 160lbs such as Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Sergio Martinez, Peter Quillin and Daniel Geale, and it would unwise for him to move up just yet when you compare the division’s depth with the 168lb weight class. However, if Golovkin cleans up at middleweight, like most expect he will, then a fight with Froch next year could become a reality.

George Groves

Probably looking the most likely at the moment is a domestic showdown with George Groves. The Saint was made the mandatory challenger by the IBF this week and with Froch failing to face his last mandatory challenger his hand might be forced this time.

The fight would certainly be a huge event in Britain with it matching the established champion against the hungry young challenger. The fight would also have an added edge to it, as the two don’t see eye to eye, especially since Groves chose to spar with Kessler before the May 25th fight. However, one obstacle standing in the way of the fight happening just yet is the fact that both fighters are currently promoted by Eddie Hearn.

Hearn will know that this fight could be worth a lot more if Groves could bring a belt to the table and increase his profile a bit more first, and as such will probably hope to pit Groves with either WBO champion Robert Stieglitz or current WBC title holder Sakio Bika before a showdown with Froch. Expect this fight to happen some stage soon but it could be next year instead.

Mikkel Kessler

With the Froch-Kessler series now at one fight a piece, and with both fights having been enthralling affairs, a third showdown is a distinct possibility. It would undoubtedly be an easy sell and generate a huge amount of interest but personally I feel this ship has sailed. As much as I enjoyed the second fight, I felt Froch won it comfortably enough and would expect a similar outcome if a third encounter was to take place.

After having been in so many wars over the years, Kessler looked to be finally past it in their second encounter, and while I feel a prime Kessler beats a prime Froch the 2013 version just isn’t good enough. From the interviews after the fight it also seemed like Kessler had little interest in another encounter and as such a third installment looks unlikely.

Adonis Stevenson

Another interesting option for Froch would be to meet Adonis Stevenson, the man who recently dethroned Chad Dawson the light heavyweight division’s top dog. Back in January it looked like the two were set to face each other after the IBF ordered the fight, however, Froch eventually ended up meeting Kessler instead.

Since then Stevenson has turned into one of the sport’s hottest names after destroying Dawson and a fight with Froch would be big money for both fighters. Despite the fight meaning Stevenson would have to drop a division the Canadian does seem open to the idea and is willing to travel, although he may be seeking a defense against Tavoris Cloud before facing a different British fighter, Tony Bellew. With this fight if the money’s right it might happen and if it does it would certainly be a classic.

Bernard Hopkins

Like Joe Calzaghe before him, Carl Froch could cement his legacy if he were able to record a victory against the evergreen Bernard Hopkins. Having recently become the oldest world champion B-Hop is as big a name as ever and the lure of the American could be too much for Froch to resist. When you combine this with Hopkins’ interest in a clash a fight between the duo is a distinct possibility.

Personally though, I don’t see Froch facing Hopkins. Firstly, B-Hop would probably want to meet at catchweight, something Froch has little interest in, while secondly Froch’s style plays into the hands of Hopkins. For me Hopkins has the beating of Froch with his spoiling style, and with the 48 year old having not been in an exciting fight for many a year, Froch will surely look for another alternative.

Other options

Other possibly candidates to face the Brit include the WBO and WBC title holder’s Robert Stieglitz and Sakio Bika, fights which would allow the Brit to unify the division. However, despite the opportunity to become a unified champion, both fighters probably aren’t on the shortlist of opponents. Froch has recently turned 36 and has previously stated that he doesn’t have that many fights left. As such Froch is looking to cash in on a few mega-fights before he hangs up his gloves and Stieglitz and Bika aren’t at that level.

However, one final option and a man who does fulfill this criteria is middleweight contender Chavez Jr. With a rematch with Sergio Martinez looking unlikely anytime soon, Chavez is on the hunt for his next opponent and a fight with Froch might be his best option.

Chavez would be wise to avoid Golovkin as the Kazakh looks far too talented for the former WBC champion. The lack of any other big names in the division bar Martinez may force Chavez Jr. to move up in which case the Froch vs. Chavez fight become a real possibility. Add to this HBO’s supposed interest in the fight and Chavez Jr. could be an outside bet for Froch’s next opponent.

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