The Carl Froch-George Groves saga took another turn on Friday, when it was reported that Froch was ordered to fight Groves by the IBF.
Per the report from ESPN UK:
Carl Froch has been ordered by the IBF to have a rematch with George Groves within 90 days, or risk losing his belt.
Earlier on Friday, Froch had revealed Groves had turned down a "seven-figure offer" for a rematch, but the IBF have confirmed that a rematch must take place.
Groves tweeted his thoughts on the decision as well:
Oh Dear! IBF order IMMEDIATE rematch with me and @Carl_Froch ... Maybe I was right after all turning down that 'amazing' 7 figure offer haha— George Groves (@StGeorgeGroves) January 24, 2014
Froch had previously turned up the heat on George Groves by claiming the young Brit has rejected the offer of a rematch.
BBC Sport confirmed the news via its official Twitter account:
Froch controversially came out on top in a bout between the pair in November, stopping Groves in the ninth round to retain his WBA and IBF super-middleweight titles.
That has seen Groves repeatedly campaign for a rematch, as he looks to set the record straight and correct the injustice he feels following the bout.
Froch, meanwhile, has remained coy about the chances of a second fight, and he claimed to have plenty of interest from elsewhere.
However, he has now broken ranks to claim Groves has turned down a “seven-figure sum” and insisted that, although he is happy to face the 25-year-old Londoner again, he is now going to pursue an opportunity to fight Julio Chavez Jr. in America.
A statement released by Froch through Matchroom Boxing said:
There has been plenty of speculation over the last few weeks regarding my future. As it stands we are looking closely at two options George Groves and Julio Chavez Jnr.
Yesterday, we made a seven figure offer to George Groves for a second fight that would have seen him earn around double that of the first. Disappointingly, George rejected this offer so we are continuing our talks with Top Rank and HBO regarding Chavez Jnr.
I understand the demand for the Groves fight in the UK, but also the demand in the US for the Chavez fight. Talks are on-going and no doubt some further news will break soon. I'm happy to fight anyone, as I have done throughout my entire career.
While Froch has long maintained it is an ambition of his to fight in Las Vegas—and the potential matchup with Mexican Chavez Jr. would make for a tasty fight—the rematch with Groves is the one that all of England's boxing fans are desperate to see.
BBC and ESPN boxing pundit Steve Bunce says Froch is right to fight Chavez Jr. before Groves:
@NelioAlexandre1 No. Lose Chavez and Groves still on. Lose Groves and Chavez off. Two paydays or one? Me, I take two paydays.— Steve Bunce (@bigdaddybunce) January 24, 2014
The war of words between the British pair could sceptically be viewed as an attempt to drum up as much attention and publicity around a fight, which is almost certain to happen in the future.
But they are unlikely to need to play this public relations game in order to garner interest. The drama of the first meeting, where Groves was wrongfully denied his chance to continue against Froch, means there will be huge hype when Froch vs. Groves 2 is finally announced.
Froch, coming toward the end of his career, may want to take up the lucrative opportunity to fight stateside, but in terms of his legacy, he must get back in the ring with Groves while he can still do himself justice.