Who Should Carl Froch Fight Next?
The most intriguing and potentially revealing question posed to any pugilist after a big win is always, “Who are you looking to fight next?” Suddenly, for Carl Froch, he is the biggest playmaker in the division.
On Saturday, in front of 80,000 fans at London’s Wembley Stadium, super middleweight champion Froch triumphed over countryman George Groves with a vintage eighth round right hand to the challenger’s chin. That punch will surely be in the knockout of the year conversation and now Froch stands as the holder with all the status in the 168-pound division, the man who not only has the prolific profile in the ring but can fill the seats and per-per-view buys elsewhere.
When Froch answered the usual last question of the post-fight interview (which was inexplicably not shown on HBO’s coverage in the U.S.). none of the top names came off the tongues of the still WBC unified and IBF champion or his promoter Eddie Hearn. Fighters like Mikkel Kessler (who hasn’t fought since a Froch unanimous decision over a year ago), WBC champion Sakio Bika, and mandatory challenger and fellow Brit James DeGale were dropped, where popular fighters across the pond were left by the wayside.
Let’s face it, boxing fans are not pushing for a rubber match between Froch and Kessler, a bout with an overmatched belt holder in Bika, or one with DeGale, who even Groves has beaten. Froch will be 37 years old by the time he fights again and only has a few more pay days to cash in. He stated he would love to fight in Las Vegas, the fight capital of the world, where he has never plied his trade.
If that were to come to fruition, the logical opponent would be Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Chavez Jr. is known to carry a substantial fanbase and an aggressive style of fighting, which makes the bout appealing on all sides.
However, there are more compelling options out there, and a rematch with Andre Ward should be at the very least discussed. Ward is positively the class of the super middleweight division and dispatched of Froch easily in the Super Six finale at the end of 2011. Since that fight, Ward has only fought twice and has scratched and clawed to find viable opponents. While his style is dominating, it is not crowd pleasing, and he cannot even sell out the arena in his hometown of Oakland.
But Froch has hinted previously he would entertain a rematch if it were to happen in Great Britain. This way, Ward can maybe get some competition again and earn more money than if the rematch were held in the USA.
While a Chavez Jr. fight would no doubt be thrilling and a Ward fight could skyrocket the Cobra up the pound-for-pound rankings were he to avenge his 2011 loss, there is one man who stands above the rest, and his name is Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin.
No one else in boxing brings quite the energy that the 32-year old middleweight from Kazakhstan does. After having a 2013 where he destroyed everything in his path, Golovkin is now the sport’s most interesting man, with big-name fights everywhere at his disposal (here is a March 2014 slideshow of eight potential Golovkin opponents, which does not even include “Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillin or GGG’s next opponent Daniel “Real Deal” Geale).
Plagued by bouts against lesser opponents, a win over Froch could escalate Golovkin as a pay-per-view fighter, unanimously into the top 10 pound-for-pound rankings, and attach him to the super-stardom that goes with it in the U.S. And for Froch, the fight would be staged in the UK, drive up his lengthy resume, and demand per-per-view dollars there as well. It is a win-win for both parties involved, one that could possibly see Chavez Jr. or Ward waiting on the other side.