• Super-middleweight

Froch-Kessler rematch '70-30 likely'

ESPN staff
January 14, 2013
Carl Froch could be on the verge of a London bout with Mikkel Kessler © Getty Images

Carl Froch is closing in on a rematch with Mikkel Kessler at the O2 Arena in London in May, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn.

But Hearn has told the Dane and his promoter Kalle Sauerland that he has 24 hours left to make the super-middleweight world title fight a unification bout.

IBF champion Froch is desperate for the chance to avenge his points defeat by WBA title holder Kessler in Denmark in April 2010, but bids for Froch's mandatory title defence against Canadian Adonis Stevenson are due by Tuesday, January 15.

Nevertheless, Hearn remains confident that a deal with the Kessler camp can be done in time.

"We are getting closer but the clock is ticking and the purse bids for the IBF defence is Tuesday," Hearn told the Daily Star.

"I would say the Kessler fight is 70-30 likely to happen, so we are very close.

"Every conversation we seem to have we are getting closer, but it's just about getting it done in time. But there's too much money and pride at stake for it not to happen for me."

Froch has notched up recent victories at the Capital FM Arena in his home town of Nottingham, beating Lucian Bute and Yusaf Mack to claim and retain the IBF crown.

But Hearn believes shifting the 35-year-old's next fight to the O2 Arena is in both fighters' interest.

"It feels like a fight that should happen at a big London arena," Hearn added. "Apart from Haye-Chisora, London hasn't had a big fight for a while.

"Kessler is coming over but he feels that holding it in Nottingham is not fair and they think they are bringing over 5,000 fans, so London makes sense.

Hearn has asked if Froch can hold on to the IBF belt should negotiations with Kessler continue beyond tomorrow's deadline.

"The Kessler fight has to be made by Tuesday or we will have to do the purse bid for the Stevenson fight instead.

He added: "We've asked the IBF for an exemption if Carl fights Kessler because it's a unification fight, but if they don't give it, then so be it. It's about the fight, not the belt."

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