Carl Froch's chances of a future showdown in the fighting capital of the world were dealt a massive blow over the weekend as this past Saturday in Carson, California at the StubHub Center, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr was defeated.
The 29-year-old Mexican was an opponent Froch had been talking about from as early as January last year, but the fight now looks unlikely to ever happen as Chavez Jr was soundly beaten by Poland's Andrzej Fonfara.
Chavez Jr loss
The bount was scheduled at a catch-weight of 173 pounds (five pounds more than the Super Middleweight division) and it looks to have been the wrong choice by team Chavez as it was noticeable through-out the encounter that the power (which has seen Jr knock out 32 previous opponents at light middle, middleweight and super middleweight) was not there.
It seems now Froch may have to look at other options for his next opponent although a bout with Chavez Jr can still get made as the Mexican admitted that weight was an issue in his post fight interview, suggesting he may move back down to 168 pound. Unfortunately the major selling point for a fight between the two icons has definitely taken a huge dent.
Froch vs Chavez Jr
This proposed duel was deemed by many boxing experts as a 50/50, with both men having styles that would have gelled to make an entertaining contest. Chavez Jr is a huge icon in Mexico and has a massive fan base, which is what Froch wanted as they would have generated enough of a buzz for the fight to be located in Vegas, where the Nottingham man has stressed many times he would love to bow out of boxinge.
The fight between the two was close to being made before the WBA champion suffered an elbow injury in training, after which the bout had to be called off. As Froch is a known warrior in the sport with arguably the hardest chin in the game it adds even more frustration that the Mexican, who had never been dropped before in his career or quit on his stool did both these things on Saturday night against Fonfara, choosing not to get out for the 10th round.
What happens next in the career of Chavez remains to be seen. Refusing to come out of his corner, clearly telling trainer Joe Goosen 'I'm done', having beer thrown down at him by his own fans and posting a picture of a $4.2 million cheque boasting the amount he made from the fight are not signs of a boxer who wants to remain fighting much longer.
As for Froch there are limited options in a super middleweight division, where its champions are largely inactive. The WBO champion Arthur Abraham is currently the most active having fought last September and this February, whilst WBC ruler Anthony Dirrell won the belt last August and is fighting this coming Friday.
Potential next targets for Froch
The Cobra hasn't fought since last May and the belt he vacated (IBF) will be contested between James DeGale and Andre Dirrell (Anthony's brother) at the end of May. Last but of course not least we have the often-regarded number one 168 pound fighter in the world, Andre Ward, who has not defended his WBA Super title since November 2013.
The division has always been an exciting one but with its rulers being out of the ring for such large periods it has the danger of becoming a stale weight class. One thing is for sure though, we all want Froch back in the ring and below are a list of possible opponents that may well be on his radar.
An obvious choice, 'Chunky' is an Olympic gold medallist who has been in fantastic form, stopping previously undefeated Brandon Gonzales and former WBC title challenger Marco Antonio Periban.
A confident southpaw switch-hitter, DeGale is a slick boxer with good head movement who rarely wastes any shots; his timing and precision has shone through, especially in his last two bouts. The Hammersmith man has got his own shot at the vacant IBF title against Dirrell at the end of May in Boston and if he was to win the crown DeGale would make history as the first Olympic gold medallist to win a world title from the UK.
A fight with Froch would certainly add more appeal if DeGale wins in May. This would be another massive domestic clash which would probably fill a football stadium but is it what Froch wants? When the bout has been proposed towards the four-time world champion it appears that there is disinterest in the idea, as Froch has said previously that the bout is moot due to the fact he's already beaten George Groves twice - who in turn beat DeGale.
The former Olympian though seems to have found a new lease of life in the squared circle, looking better than ever and with each fighter having the same promoter it maybe possible that 'The Cobra' could be tempted into another domestic showdown.
The 50-year-old boxing legend has hinted at moving down into the 168 league, having fought at light heavyweight over the last few years. Words have been exchanged between the two about a possible fight and this would be Froch's best option to get a Vegas showdown as Hopkins has fought in Vegas many times.
The marketing appeal however would be difficult in some aspects to win fans over. The executioner is half a century old and is just coming off a one sided loss to Sergey Kovalev. Froch has also said that this fight would be a 'lose-lose situation' for him where if he wins he wouldn't get the plaudit's due to B-Hops age and if he lost then it would turn his beautiful farewell fight into a nightmare.
A fight that many boxing fans are dreaming of, GGG is an absolute beast in the ring. Labelled as the next pound for pound superstar and drawing comparisons of his power to that of Mike Tyson's, the middleweight is currently on a 19 winning knockout streak. Born and raised in Kazakhstan, as an amateur Golovkin had an amazing 345-5 record and has yet to put a foot wrong in the pro ranks, claiming the WBA super, IBO and WBC interim titles.
The hope is for Triple G to move up to super middleweight, which he has hinted at. The fight between the two is one that may need to be marketed more for it to be a Vegas fight as Golovkin is not yet a global superstar, but its only a matter of time.
The plan may be for Golovkin to win the WBC middleweight crown then move up to 168Ibs, which could take six to 12 months so Froch may have to fight during that period just to keep momentum up and to keep the ball rolling towards what would be a mouth watering match up between the two.
The number one pound for pound super middleweight, Ward looks set to return at the end of June, possibly against Liverpool's Paul Smith. The comeback has been highly anticipated as Ward has not fought since the end of 2013.
A former gold medallist, the California man is exceptional in the ring; his footwork and timing have allowed him to dictate the pace in his past outings and he boasts a resume that has seen him victorious over the likes of Arthur Abraham, Mikkel Kessler, Sakio Bika, Chad Dawson and of course Froch.
It was rumoured that the WBA were sanctioning a fight between the super champion Ward and their regular champion Froch, which would cause intrigue to the Nottingham man as he has stressed before how much he wants to avenge his losses. Having already avenged one loss when beating Kessler, his only other blemish was to Ward in 2011.
This fight though would not headline in Vegas as Ward has never fought there. If the fight could happen in England that would be fantastic but first S.O.G has to get past his June fight before a possible end of year showdown with Froch could happen. Arguably though this would be considered the most difficult fight for Froch as their last outing had Ward winning by unanimous decision even though the American reportedly had a broken left hand in the fight.
These are the main candidates but there are several others who could also be considered possible foes. George Groves lost twice to Froch but if he was to pick up the WBC title this year - which he is mandatory for - and meet DeGale then it could be a situation of the winner fights Froch.
Arthur Abraham never really troubled Froch when they fought back in 2010, with The Cobra winning by decision, but as long as Abraham remains WBO champ then there's a slim chance. Meanwhile the Direll brothers have not yet got the marketing or the big names on their resumes but if Andre beats DeGale in May then it's possible, especially considering the split decision close loss he suffered to Froch in 2009.
Anthony Dirrell is fighting this Friday and if he gets through that fight and also beats his mandatory, George Groves, then he may generate enough publicity to warrant the fight. Fellow Brits such as Rocky Fielding and Callum Smith are unfortunately too early in their careers for a showdown and with Paul Smith losing out to Abraham for the WBO title, a clash between Nottingham and Liverpool seems unlikely.
Martin Murray may be reportedly moving up to 168Ibs but unless the St Helen's man gets in with some top ten fighters straight away and calls out Froch to build a good domestic rivalry then it probably won't happen.
Who would you like to see Carl Forch fight before he retires? Let us know in the comments box below.
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