Who Next For Carl Froch - Kessler? Bute? Taylor?

06.01.09 - by James Slater - 31-year-old Carl "The Cobra" Froch, who claimed the vacant WBC super-middleweight title with a stirring win over then unbeaten Jean Pascal back on December the 6th, has no shortage of potential big fights in 2009. Looking forward to getting the top names at 168 pounds in the ring with him this year, the successor to Joe Calzaghe at super-middleweight is also willing to travel to the States in order to get the match-ups he wants..

The Froch-Pascal fight was listed by a number of boxing fans, not just in the UK, as one of 2008's best fights. Giving each other hell for 12 pulsating rounds, Froch and the Canadian talent produced a classic. Now very much wanting to build on his success, Froch wants to make his first defence, and against one of either mandatory contender Jermain Taylor, rival champion Mikkel Kessler or other rival champion Lucian Bute.

Speaking with The Times on line, "The Cobra" underlined his desire to get back in with another top class fighter as soon as possible.

"I want to get straight in there with a top contender before I go off the boil," Froch said. "I think the Pascal fight has done a lot of good for me. We had such a good tear-up, we both came away with a lot of credit. It would be nice to establish myself as a world champion, but I'm 31 so there is no time to waste. I'm happy to fight the likes of Jermain Taylor or Lucian Bute or Mikkel Kessler. I don't believe in having easy fights."

A fight between Froch and any of the three names he mentioned would be exciting and compelling. A fight with Taylor has been mentioned before - even before Froch became world champion - but for some reason the fight has not taken place. As Froch's mandatory contender, however, the match-up will have to happen some time. Froch has, in the past, spoken of taking on Denmark's WBA champion Kessler. A win over the Dane, who thus far in his career has only lost a great fight to Joe Calzaghe, would be huge for Froch. Bute, after his brutal war with Mexican tough guy Librado Andrade, may never be quite the same. Hanging on (literally) to out-point Andrade last time out, the IBF champion was on the verge of real exhaustion. After having given so much of himself - even more than Froch himself gave in his gruelling win over Pascal - Bute would no doubt be a fighter the WBC champ would see as beatable.

In short, either of the three possible fights would be top draw affairs for Froch, but first he must make sure his ribs are one hundred percent. After sustaining a rib injury in camp before the Pascal battle, the new champion is still feeling the pain.

"It's taken ages for my rib to calm down," Froch revealed. "It was fractured and that doesn't heal overnight. I've only just been able to start sleeping on that side. I was sore before the fight. I could have had an injection in it, but I didn't fancy the needle in my ribs. It was killing me during the fight."

After having shown the bite-down courage he clearly possess in his title winning effort, a Carl Froch without any pre-fight injuries must surely be made at least even money to be able to beat any rival super-middleweight out there.

2009 promises to be a big year for "The Cobra."

Article posted on 06.01.2009

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