Harry Pratt

Froch targets Bute, Kessler and Pascal


Defeated, dejected and down, for sure, but far from out. That was the message from Carl Froch 48 hours on from his heavy, one-sided points loss to brilliant American Andre Ward in Atlantic City, NJ, at the weekend.

Yes, the Nottingham man knew he had been beaten by the better fighter on Saturday night and could have no complaints about the fact that the classy, still undefeated Ward (25-0, 13 knockouts) is now The RING, WBA and WBC super middleweight beltholder.

However, anyone thinking that this might be the last we hear or see of 34-year-old Froch (28-2, 20 KOs) at elite level had better think again. For the reality, as far as the Englishman is concerned, could not be more different. On Monday, he was already willing to discuss the short, mid and long term plans for the remainder of his career – and how long-standing IBF super middleweight holder Lucian Bute (30-0, 24 KOs), Denmark’s former 168 pound champion Mikkel Kessler (44-2, 33 KOs) and Canadian light heavyweight Jean Pascal (26-2-1,16 KOs) could all feature on the road to a possible return against Ward.

“Maybe it could be the X Factor syndrome, where the runner-up gets all the opportunities,” said the former WBC champion in optimistic fashion. “I dropped the decision and now it looks like I could be in the running for a double header with Lucian Bute – maybe one in his town and maybe one in my town – with the winner taking on Andre Ward in a rematch. So, I look forward to that.

“The fight with Lucien Bute, on the British side if it happens, would fill the Nottingham Forest (soccer) stadium or, somewhere in London at one of the big arenas or in Manchester. And certainly a re-match with Kessler, for no titles, would be a massive fight that everyone would look forward to. To get a rematch with Kessler back in England, and me and Kessler are on talking terms at the minute and it’s something that could happen, would be phenomenal.

“It just shows that you don’t have to have world titles to make exciting fights in this sport. And Jean Pascal is in no man’s land at the minute and what an amazing fight that would be. So it’s by no stretch of the imagination the end of the road for Carl Froch.

“But we need to take a serious look, have a talk to the other fighters and see where we go from here. But I will be back and I’ll be back bigger, better and stronger that ever.”

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