Froch wants Ward after Kessler
Carl Froch believes a rematch with Andre Ward ought to await the winner of his potential super-middleweight unification showdown with Mikkel Kessler after revealing he has at least two years left at the top.
WBO champion Kessler is yet to agree to a £4 million rematch with Froch at London's O2 Arena in May, with time running out before the IBF champion will be forced to accept a fight with mandatory challenger Adonis Stevenson.
Froch believes a deal with Kessler is imminent, and is already eyeing up the reward for the winner: a second showdown with the undefeated Ward.
The American, currently recovering from shoulder surgery after injuring himself while sparring for his cancelled fight with Kelly Pavlik, is set to vacate his WBC and WBA titles while sidelined, leaving Bute in pole position to take his WBC crown.
But rather than lining up a fight to unify all three belts, Froch believes both he and Kessler would favour a fight with Ward on his return to the ring.
"The Kessler fight is the big one, and the rematch with Bute - if it happens, it happens, but it was so one-sided the first time I don't think it's going to be such an exciting fight for me," Froch told Sky Sports News. "I don't think, to be honest, he'd want a rematch.
"The natural fight after the Kessler fight would be a rematch with Ward," Froch added. "That would be the big one.
"He's one of those awkward, don't-want-to-fight-him type of opponents. He spoils a fight. He sits on your chest, he's very close, and it's very difficult to get clean punches off.
"You never watch it back on tape because it's not exciting, but he's effective in what he does. You've got to give him his credit - Olympic gold medallist, unbeaten since he was 12 years old, unbeaten as a professional - so what he does is effective, but it's not good for television."
Now 35, Froch believes he has four fights left in him before he hangs up his gloves.
"I've got at least two years," Froch said. "I think I'm a very young 35. At 37 or 38 the silver wings will start to come through and it's not going to look good defending a world title with steel hair.
"I think two years, so as many fights as I can get in. Four fights, maybe."