• Super middleweight

Emirates Stadium lined up for Froch-Groves II in May

ESPN staff
January 27, 2014
Referee Howard Foster controversially stopped Carl Froch and George Groves' November fight © PA Photos

Arsenal's Emirates Stadium has emerged as a potential venue for a rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves, with the Times reporting that May 31 has been earmarked for the bout.

The pair still need to agree a share of the purse for the fight, after Froch retained his IBF and WBA super-middleweight titles with a controversial ninth-round stoppage of Groves. Referee Howard Foster was widely criticised for what was seen as a premature intervention, with the IBF eventually coming to the same conclusion two months later and ordering a rematch on Friday following an appeal by Groves.

The decision forces Froch to face Groves for his next fight or be stripped of his IBF title. However the IBF's ruling only guarantees challenger Groves 15 percent of the purse, less than he has already been offered.

Froch's promoter admitted negotiations have been less than smooth due to the animosity between the fighters.

However the 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium has emerged as a likely venue if an agreement is reached, as well as Nottingham Forest's City Ground, which holds over 30,000. Froch is a lifelong supporter of Championship outfit Forest.

The first fight had sold out the 19,000-capacity Phones4U Arena in Manchester in 11 minutes.

"I believe it probably will happen, but both of them will have to give ground on their demands and neither wants to do that," Hearn said.

"George has his belief of what it is worth and Carl is not in the mood to make concessions."

The IBF had ordered the rematch to take place within 90 days, though it is believed they would not object to a May date if both parties agreed.

Froch had been pursuing a bout against Julio César Chávez Jr, the former WBC middleweight champion. Hearn said Froch could still take that fight even if it meant giving up the IBF title.

Chávez faces Brian Vera on March 1, and if he wins would potentially face Froch in Las Vegas in early July.

"We are being pressured by [American television company] HBO and Top Rank [Chávez's promoter] to give them an answer. Obviously the Groves fight is the one that everyone in the UK wants, but it is not the only option," Hearn said.

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