Monday, March 20, 2023  |



Froch willing to give up IBF title for Kessler rematch



Three-time super middleweight titleholder Carl Froch has set his heart on a rematch with Mikkel Kessler this summer and, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn, would give up his IBF belt in order to get back into the ring with the Dane, who is the current WBA ‘World’ holder.

Although the IBF has ordered that the Brit’s next defense be against Canadian Adonis Stevenson, Hearn has until the purse bid for that fight — next Monday — to nail a deal for Froch-Kessler II. Should he do so, they will request that the IBF waive the Stevenson bout. If that fails, Hearn says Froch, 35, may relinquish the title.

“We make no secret we want to fight Kessler. Everybody wants that fight. If we can’t make it before Monday, it won’t happen. It’s a race against time,” said Matchroom chief Hearn to World Boxing News. “Will it happen? It’s 60-40 it will. I’m desperate to make the fight. And Carl is desperate as well.

“We would then ask the IBF for an exemption. If we had to step down from the IBF belt, it would be disappointing, but Froch versus Kessler for the WBA belt would be a special night for boxing.”

The venue for Froch (30-2, 22 knockouts) against Kessler (46-2, 35 KOs) is likely to be London’s O2 Arena, in late May. The Englishman stated before Christmas that 33-year-old Kessler, whom he lost to on points in April 2010, was refusing face him in his home city, Nottingham.

Photo / Scott Heavey-Gettyimages