Putting all retirement chat to one side, Carl Froch's next bout could throw up another almighty all-British battle after promoter Eddie Hearn revealed talks have begun regarding a bout with James DeGale.
In May, Froch stopped George Groves for a second successive time at Wembley to defend his WBA and IBF super middleweight titles, and Hearn is quoted by ESPN saying a DeGale fight could happen by the end of the year:
DeGale's back in the big time with plenty of swagger and now he's mandatory challenger for Froch's IBF world title. He's keen for that one and on my case to deliver it. Talks are underway with Froch to try and make that happen this year.
Froch has turned 37 since giving Groves a more confident beating in their London rematch, but there could be another West London-based talent on the agenda in the figure of DeGale.
Speaking to ESPN after the Wembley victory, "The Cobra" insisted retirement was still an option as he looks to end his career on a high note, saying:
That is very much on the table, very much so. The only reason we'd be discussing DeGale is because he's put himself in the mandatory position, to be honest - otherwise I wouldn't give him the time of day.
As Froch mentions, DeGale has an advantage in the hunt for his belts after beating Brandon Gonzales on the undercard of Wembley's May 31 slate. Froch must take his mandatory by the end of February, giving him little time to squeeze in an opponent prior to DeGale.
However, Froch is known to also be keen on the idea of fighting in Vegas before hanging up his gloves.
Kugan Cassius of iFL TV spoke with Hearn this week regarding the potential fixture, in which the promoter voices his appreciation of what a spectacle it could be:
That would give Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. an edge as Froch seeks to make his way to Nevada, feeling he's earned the right to decide his next defence, irrespective of DeGale's mandatory challenger status.
Hearn gave more insight into Froch's way of thinking at this point, per the ESPN report:
He's ready to start talking about fighting again. He talks about his ambition to fight in Vegas and that's for real, but it's easier said than done.
With James you've got a ready-made big domestic fight but, more than that, you've got a mandatory challenger. He's not just calling out for the fight and hoping he's the chosen one - he is the chosen one.
Another all-British affair would suit Matchroom Sport's intentions. After the draw that surrounded Wembley's 80,000-capacity collision between Froch and "Saint" Groves, it provides another opportunity to promote the talent on this side of the pond.
Nottingham's Froch once again occupies the position of power in this scenario, but the pressure of being forced to establish himself against another of England's contenders may force the veteran into a corner.
Adrian Durham of talkSPORT feels it's now or never for the ageing champion to head for the lights of Las Vegas:
In terms of his career and the legacy he leaves behind, it would be a shame for Froch not to get his chance on the biggest boxing stage of all, regardless of the result against Chavez.
It would also be a disappointment if DeGale, seen by many as an inferior fighter to Groves, didn't give Froch the challenge that some are supposing he might.
Ultimately, Froch must decide what's most important to him. If his legacy matters most, Vegas is calling. If he wants to see off another British upstart and retain his title, DeGale is a willing challenger.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!