By Michael Collins: IBF super middleweight champion Carl Froch is going to have to decide real soon if he wants to defend his belt against his mandatory challenger Adonis Stevenson or vacate the belt. The International Boxing Federation already ordered that Froch has to begin negotiations for a bout with Stevenson.
Froch hasn’t shown signs of doing that, as he’s been talking about wanting to fight Mikkel Kessler next, and then either Lucian Bute or Andre Ward. Stevenson isn’t even in the equation. Froch’s promoter Eddie Hearn talking about wanting to try and get an exception from the International Boxing Federation so that Froch can bypass his mandatory defense. However, exceptions can’t be a permanent thing for Froch, so he’s going to have to make a decision real soon if he really wants the title of if it’s simply not worth the risk of him having to defend against the hard hitting Adonis Stevenson.
According to Goldengloves.co.za, unbeaten super middleweight contender Thomas Oosthuizen could end up fighting Stevenson for Froch’s vacated title on March 2nd if Froch chooses not to defend his title against Stevenson. If not Stevenson, Oosthuizen could end up fighting light heavyweight Denis Grachev, who recently gave former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute all kinds of problems in losing by a 12 round decision. Either Stevenson or Grachev would be a good fight or Oosthuizen and a big leap up from the kinds of opponents he’s been facing during his career.
It’s likely that Hearn will try to get the IBF to let Froch get around facing Stevenson, but even if the IBF does give Froch an exception so that he can fight his unification bout with Kessler, it can’t just go on and on fight after fight. At some point Froch is going to have to make a decision whether he wants the IBF title badly enough to defend it against Stevenson. If the risk isn’t worth it then he needs to dump the strap because you can’t have Stevenson waiting an entire year for Froch to fight all the guys he wants to fight. Froch has three guys he wants to fight in 2013 – Kessler, Ward and Bute – and those fights will take up the entire year.