As Froch gets ready to take a tumble in the BBC’s latest attempt at wooing the Saturday evening TV audience, some might say the odds on him fighting James DeGale widened this week when the IBF/WBA super middleweight champion from Nottingham reiterated that he would consider retirement if a Las Vegas showdown with Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr is not forthcoming.
Froch earned a reported £8 million from May’s knockout victory over George Groves, attended by 77,000 at Wembley and notching up almost a million PPV buys. Although still lucrative, a fight with the 2008 Olympic gold medallist and mandatory challenger DeGale won’t gross him anywhere near as much.
The MEN Arena and the O2 (both around 20,000 capacity) have been mooted as possible venues by promoter Eddie Hearn, who admitted that negotiations have been going ‘slowly’.
Froch declared to BBC Radio Nottingham: “If I can’t fight in Vegas, I need a serious think about whether I want to finish by fighting DeGale.
“I don’t know if I can get motivated to fight him. He’s not good enough. If Vegas can’t happen I’ll seriously consider retiring.”
Froch’s below par performance against George Groves in their first meeting led some, including myself, to suggest that he should call it a day, only the controversial manner of victory blew those suggestions to smithereens and the public’s thirst for a rematch was quenched in what is being reported as the biggest grossing fight in UK history.
For some time, Froch has expressed his desire to fight in Vegas against Chavez Jnr, but the risk reward ratio for the popular Mexican would appear to rule it out - regardless of what his promoter Bob Arum has to say on the matter.
Froch’s extreme durability is in part responsible for the names of two murderous eastern European punchers currently operating either side of 168lbs, Gennady Golovkin and Sergey Kovalev, to crop up.
But for the probable curtain closer on a long and highly successful career, which has involved a fair few wars, you can’t really expect Froch to take a fight with either unless the money was ‘very’ right, which it wouldn’t be.
Even supposing Andre Ward managed to clear up his ongoing legal situation with Dan Goossen, it’s highly doubtful that the considered super middleweight number one would agree to figures that worked, either in the UK or in the States.
Before Froch makes his decision, tonight’s appearance on primetime TV sees him involved in pro celebrity gymnastics on the BBC’s ‘Tumble’ show, and according to Bookmaker William Hill, half of all the money staked has been put on Froch to win.
Other fancied contestants include actor John Partridge (aka Christian Clarke in Eastenders?) and former children’s TV presenter Peter Duncan of ‘Blue Peter’ and ‘Duncan Dares’ notoriety. Disappointingly for some, a training injury put paid to an appearance from 80s breakfast TV fitness guru and wellbeing consultant ‘Mr Motivator’, AKA Derrick Evans.
After Froch has taken his tumble, it’s decision time. During this period I’d expect promoter Eddie Hearn to play the role of Mr Motivator convincingly enough to entice his star attraction into the ring to fight DeGale towards the end of the year.
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- George Groves
- James DeGale