The highly sought-after Carl Froch vs. George Groves rematch could take place in May 2014 at Wembley, promoter Eddie Hearn told MailOnline in his first boxing column:
We have had a lot of conversations with both fighters and it’s a fight I think needs to happen this year. If we strike a deal, and there’s still some way to go, then it’s a fight I would like to put on in a big stadium on one of the last two Saturdays in May. We have spoken to Wembley and numerous other stadiums already – I believe this fight would draw a crowd of 70,000 or 80,000.
Froch controversially retained his WBA and IBF titles when the two fighters met in Nov. 2013 after the referee, Howard Foster Jr., stopped the bout in the ninth round.
The stoppage—perceived to be early—caused huge debate across the boxing world and has led to many people, including Groves, to demand a rematch:
Truly gutted. I played my part and from what I've seen of the footage the ref made a terrible decision.. I will demand my rematch RT— George Groves (@StGeorgeGroves) November 24, 2013
On Tuesday, 25-year-old Groves told Sky Sports he is waiting for Froch and sees no option but for the Nottingham-born fighter to accept the rematch:
"It's the fight that the fans and the public demand, that the television networks want and it's the fight that the media in general wants," the beaten challenger said.
Groves, who boasts 19 wins from 20 professional fights, said he has even launched an appeal to the IBF in the hope that it will give Froch no option but to accept the rematch, or risk being stripped of his titles:
I was out in New Jersey last week making an appeal to the IBF. I find out the results this week. It was in front of a panel of referees etc. I'm quietly confident. We presented a very good case. Our grounds was bias from the referee and that the finish was unsatisfactory.
Despite Groves' confidence, Hearn conceded that "The Cobra" has three other options when it comes to his next fight, and Froch has aspirations to end his career with a fight in Las Vegas, meaning the Froch-Groves rematch may not happen.
The super middleweight is currently No. 2 on The Ring's pound-for-pound list behind Floyd Mayweather Jr. and boasts an impressive 27 wins out of 27 fights.
Ward beat Froch in Dec. 2011 in Atlantic City by unanimous decision in the Super Six World Boxing Classic Final to retain the WBA Super Middleweight title and win the WBC and The Ring world super middleweight titles. Despite suffering from an injured left hand during the fight, the American boxer impressively beat Froch on points.
Since that victorious night, Ward has been back in the ring on two occasions, beating Chad Dawson and Edwin Rodriguez in dominating displays. Although he doesn't have the next bout lined up yet, he has been heavily linked with a fight against Gennady Golovkin.
Froch is keen on facing the American again, seeking revenge for the defeat in 2011. Ward is in fact the only boxer Froch has fought but not beaten, which may suggest the English fighter is keen for a rematch to eradicate the blip on his boxing record. Whether it is wise to get back into the ring against a man who comfortably defeated him last time remains to be seen.
Ward took to Twitter in December with his thoughts on Froch's next fight, suggesting he is open to a rematch, although Hearn indicates it might not be beneficial from a commercial perspective:
Thing is...if he is going to live up to his tough guy image, he has to rematch Groves or try to avenge his loss to me. He's got two options.— Andre S.O.G. Ward (@andreward) December 26, 2013
The undefeated Kazakh boxer is the current WBA and IBO Middleweight champion, boasting a record of 28 wins, with 25 coming via KO. GGG was voted 2013 Fighter of the Year by readers of The Ring after comfortably winning all four of his fights last year.
The 31-year-old is known for his power, precision and patience in the ring, all of which have helped amass a growing following of boxing fans around the world.
Golovkin has a scheduled fight against Ghanaian middleweight Osumanu Adama on Feb. 1, perhaps indicating he will be unwilling to face another opponent—particularly of Froch's standard—as early as Hearn's May timeframe.
Hearn, however, suggests that a fight between Froch and Golovkin is unlikely to happen for a number of reasons:
I have been told by various sources that their team believes Carl is the toughest fight out there. That’s the fight his people ooh, ah and wince at. It would be a truly great fight between two warriors, but I don’t think Golovkin is quick enough or awkward enough to grit it out with Carl at 168lbs.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Mexican boxer Chavez Jr., the former WBC Middleweight champion with a record of 47 wins from 50 fights, looks to be the most realistic option for Froch's next fight, with a July encounter in Las Vegas being touted recently.
Froch suggested back in November that he'd be interested in getting into the ring with Chavez Jr. Per BBC Sport, Froch was quoted saying:
There's also a guy in America called Julio Cesar Chavez, who's a great fighter. I have to speak to my promoter and speak to my trainer and see whatever makes the most sense.
Who should Froch fight next?
The 27-year-old's next fight is on Mar. 1 in a rematch against Brian Vera, whom he beat last year. Chavez Jr. appears to be one of the most sought-after boxers at the moment, with rumours that both Ward and Golovkin, along with Froch, are eyeing up bouts with him in 2014.
Hearn sees Chavez Jr. as being an easier fight for Froch than Groves. However, the Mexican fighter is reportedly looking for a high fee to match his big name in the boxing world.
A matchup against Chavez Jr. in Las Vegas appears to be the most appealing bout for Froch as it would allow him to bow out at the top and achieve his dream of fighting in Vegas.
So where does that leave Froch-Groves II? With the public clamour for the rematch, the associated revenues and the possibility that Ward, Golovkin and Chavez Jr. could all face each other this year, the likelihood that the two English fighters lock horns again appears to be high.
It may not be the match that Froch wants, but unless something is ironed out shortly, he may be left with little choice but to accept a rematch from the young fighter who will be looking for revenge.