Nine months of verbal sparring, 15 rounds of boxing and a tirade of personal insults all came to a conclusive ending last Saturday night.
One perfect right hand from Carl Froch – “the best I have ever thrown” – finally drew a definitive line under the George Groves saga in a historic night at Wembley stadium.
With a perceived lack of public appreciation, owing to no free-to-air boxing available to the British public, Froch’s stature on these shores has been taken to a new level. In front of 80,000 fans, he produced what will turn out to be a career-defining performance and forever be remembered in the annals of British boxing history.
After a summer off with his family, the Cobra will decide his next move and there appears to be options aplenty for a career swansong.
It isn’t 100% that Froch will even fight again but he has pinpointed a Las Vegas fight week as a life-long dream, with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr’s name being talked about on both sides of the Atlantic.
Chavez Jr was on a collision course to face Gennady Golovkin in a multi-million pound clash which eventually fell through due to contractual issues. Nevertheless, there are boxing fans who think the Mexican doesn’t represent a worthy challenge to Froch.
Despite his large following and favourable record, Chavez Jr has yet to complete a bout at super middleweight and it’s unlikely Froch would add much to his legacy by defeating him. What’s more, Chavez is almost an immovable object and the Nottingham fighter would probably have to work as hard as he ever has in camp to train for a 12 round fight.
WBC champion Sakio Bika, as distasteful as his fighting style might be, is another option for a Stateside bout. Bika was less than impressive when defending his crown to a draw against Anthony Dirrell, younger brother of former Froch foe Andre Dirrell, but offers a shot at one of three remaining super middleweight belts.
Bika might also serve as a distraction for DeGale’s mandatory challenge. Such is Matchroom’s influence that Eddie Hearn would have little problem ensuring the IBF is lax about calling a mandated fight, especially as Groves was technically a mandatory both times, but a chance to unify titles supersedes any obligatory bout.
Winning a fight against Bika is hardly a legendary task, but the chance to claim another world crown before signing off from boxing is an avenue worth exploring.
Perhaps the toughest USA-based option is Gennady Golvokin, middleweight ruler and ferocious puncher. The Kazakh’s team have expressed a desire to fight Froch, but first must dispose of Australian ex-champ Daniel Geale before settling on another bout.
When talking about the middleweight scene around the time Darren Barker was IBF champion, Hearn refused to go near Golovkin and it’s difficult to see the promoter having any part of him at this stage in Froch’s career.
Having said that, money talks loudly and Golovkin is also looking for a defining match-up to cement his status among the world’s finest. He is fighting inside the main arena at Madison Square Garden against Daniel Geale, an idyllic setting for a farewell bout, and a good crowd could persuade Hearn the money is there for a Froch fight.
It appears only money could stop Nottingham’s best from going to the States and a lucrative trilogy with Mikkel Kessler lingers as a potential stellar match-up. After a victory apiece, rumours circulated over Twitter that a finale could see the pair clash at the Amsterdam Arena with up to 60,000 in attendance.
Kessler hasn’t fought since their last bout in May 2013 but they arguably have unfinished business, with the Dane reigning victorious in the first fight. Their respective fan-friendly styles make for an entertaining 12 rounds, much like both of their previous fights, so an American TV channel is also likely to be interested.
In any case, it will almost certainly not be DeGale. Commercial value is everything and despite the huge success of the Groves bouts, DeGale is not a big enough name on these shores just yet.
We all wait patiently as Froch assesses his next move, but he has plenty of options.
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