• Super-middleweight

Hearn: Groves fuelled fire for Froch fight

ESPN staff
May 20, 2013

Promoter Eddie Hearn claims "fuel has been added to the fire" between Carl Froch and George Groves after the latter helped Mikkel Kessler prepare for Saturday's rematch with Froch.

IBF super-middleweight champ Froch attempts to unify the division against WBA champion Kessler at the O2 Arena. The pair have met once before when Kessler emerged victorious from a classic, and the sequel is heavily anticipated.

However, Froch has been angered by fellow Brit Groves - as well as Nathan Cleverly - who helped spar with Kessler in the build-up to the weekend.

"It sums up what they are," Froch said in the Sun. "They'd rather help a foreign fighter prepare for the biggest fight of my career - and I'm a British fighter."

Hearn acts on behalf of both Froch and Groves, and the super-middleweights could well collide in the future. The promoter confessed the ill feeling between the pair only brings that scenario closer to fruition.

"For George it's great to spar with Kessler, I'm sure it's going to help his performance and career," Hearn told Sky Sports News. "Some don't like it because effectively you're going into the away fighter's camp, but I wouldn't look too much into that.

"I don't blame George for going out there, and obviously Nathan Cleverly has as well. It fuels the fire for a potential Groves v Froch fight in the future which, in time, I'm sure will happen."

Asked if Groves could be next for Froch, Hearn was keen not to look past Kessler. However, he did drop in one or two major names as potential next rivals for the Nottingham fighter.

"It's very difficult to look past a war like Saturday night, but Bernard Hopkins has said he wants to fight him (Froch), and you've got Groves v Froch hotting up once George proves himself at world level," Hearn said. "Even Andre Ward is desperate to come over and fight Froch again because Carl is a huge name and huge money is on the table.

"But for Froch, ahead of Saturday, nothing else matters. Froch v Kessler II is the ultimate."

And Hearn predicted both men will stand toe-to-toe this weekend, just as they did in their first fight. Joe Calzaghe claims Kessler might be past his best, but Hearn expects a "special night".

"You know what you're going to get from Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler, they only know how to fight one way. I'm sure they'll have tactics coming into the fight, but I know that's going to go straight out the window once they start exchanging blows.

"You have 18,000 Brits and maybe 1,000 Danes, it's going to be a special atmosphere. Once they start trading blows it's going to be an all-out war."

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