• Super-middleweight

Froch: I'd fight Groves over vacating title

ESPN staff
July 14, 2013
Carl Froch has mooted towards a decider with Mikkel Kessler but may have to fight George Groves first © PA Photos

World super-middleweight champion Carl Froch has stated that he would rather defend his IBF title against fellow Brit George Groves than risk losing the belt.

'The Cobra', who in his last outing gained revenge over old rival Mikkel Kessler, recently revealed that negotiations with Groves were underway and insists he would not shirk touching gloves with the mandatory challenger.

"George Groves is next in line for the IBF title and, you know me, I defend my title rather than vacate it. I'll fight anybody," Froch told Sky Sports.

"He's mandatory for the IBF by default because Lucian Bute is injured, and I think [Edwin] Rodriguez and [Brandon] Gonzalez were fighting for the number two spot, this is what Eddie [Hearn] is telling me anyway.

"I've not been officially asked to vacate the title but I've been made aware of the situation that Groves is mandatory and I'm not in a position where I want to give a belt up."

Froch, 36, has hinted at a third deciding fight with Kessler but with Groves at No. 1 spot, the Nottingham fighter may have to step into the ring with the Hammersmith-man or risk vacating his belt - something he would not be prepared to do.

"I took that belt off an unbeaten fighter so I'm not going to just give that belt away, unless there's a good option for me and a good road for me to go down," Froch added. "I'm in this game because I love it and I'll fight anybody, including George Groves."

Groves successfully overcame Noe Gonzalez Alcoba on the undercard of the Froch-Kessler epic on May 25, and has since targeted his compatriot to play out a domestic super-bout - something that would no doubt rival the all-Brit showdown between Tyson Fury and David Haye.

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