An IBF-mandated all-British super middleweight clash between titleholder Carl “The Cobra” Froch and unbeaten George “Saint” Groves will happen in November of December at a venue to be announced during a future press conference, Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport announced on Tuesday.
“I’m delighted to have got this fight made. It’s a great fight for British boxing, with a real throwback feel to the big domestic fights in the super middleweight fights in the 1990s,” said Hearn,who informed RingTV.com regarding the commencement of talks for Froch-Groves.
“When George became the mandatory challenger, I knew there was no way Carl would relinquish the belt and no way that George would look anywhere else. This fight will grow and grow and fans can expect an exciting night and a packed undercard when full details of the fight are announced.”
THE RING’s No. 1-rated 168 pounder, Froch (31-2, 22 knockouts), who turned 36 on July 2, is coming off May’s unanimous decision over Mikkel Kessler for the WBA’s “regular” belt in a rematch of their 2010 bout when Kessler unanimously decisioned Froch as part of Showtime’s Super Six World Boxing Classic. [Editor's note: Andre Ward holds the WBA "super" 168-pound title and is recognized by THE RING as both the WBA and undisputed world champ at the weight.]
“I’m excited the first defense of both my belts is a big domestic clash. I am a proper fighter and a proper champion, and I will always face my mandatory challenger rather than vacate the title,” said Froch.
“I’ve known George for a while, I’ve sparred with him and watched him grow, and now he’s my mandatory. I will be pouring everything into my preparation for the fight, and George will face the very best of me.”
On the Froch-Kessler II undercard, Groves (19-0, 15 KOs) scored his third straight stoppage victory in the fifth-round over Noe Gonzalez, ending the loser’s winning streak of two consecutive first-round knockouts.
“This is the biggest fight of my career, and being a World champion is something that I dreamed of as a kid. I’m well-ranked across all the governing bodies, but fighting Carl is the one that I wanted the most,” said Groves.
“He is a big name in the UK, and a well-respected champion around the world, and I have a great team around me that can put together the right game plan to beat him and become a World champion and a major force in the super middleweight division.”
Since falling to RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward by unanimous decision in December of 2011 in their bout for the bout for THE RING, WBA and WBC belts, Froch has won three straight fights, two of them by knockout.
Froch had earned consecutive stoppage victories over Philadelphia’s Yusaf Mack in the third round and previously unbeaten IBF beltholder Lucian Bute in the fifth in May and November of 2012 prior to facing Kessler.
“It is better this way than a low-key, overseas opponent,” said Froch, “as this fight will relight memories of some of the great all-British clashes, and with World titles on the line, it’s a really huge occasion and one that will grab the attention of British sports fans.”