Britain's Carl Froch will defend his Super Middleweight titles in a bout later this year against fellow Brit George Groves, according to this report from uk.europsport.yahoo.com.
Froch won the IBF Super Middleweight title with a stunning five round destruction of then undefeated Lucian Bute last year. A bout before which Froch reportedly considered retirement after, win or lose.
In May of this year, Froch added the WBA Super World Super Middleweight (ridiculous that they introduced "Super" titles, I know) title when he avenged one of his two career losses by defeating Dane Mikkel Kessler.
Groves entered the equation as a realistic opponent recently when the IBF announced they had elevated him to the mandatory challenger spot following Adonis Stevenson's move to light heavyweight. This announcement left Froch facing the choice of vacating his title in search of a rematch with the only other fighter to defeat him in Andre Ward, or to accept Groves as the mandatory challenger and go ahead with the defense.
Froch told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast through talksport.co.uk that he felt Groves was not ready to fight him. While admitting that nothing is definite in boxing, and acknowledging an affinity for all fellow fighters, Froch simply stated while Groves may be ready for him one day, that day has yet to come.
It seems that the straps Froch has fought so hard to achieve mean enough for him to postpone the chase of a redemption fight against Andre Ward to make sure he gets his mandatory defense in to satisfy his obligations. Either that or he feels Groves is far enough below his level to make him a nice "busy fight" without much risk to his future aspirations being derailed.
Whether Groves is ready for a title shot yet is up for debate for me. He seems like a decent fighter, has not really faced the quality of opponent required to gain a world title shot yet for me.
Groves' top victories to date are held over domestic rival James DeGale in 2011 and a then 43-year-old Glen Johnson in December. I think it would suit Groves better to face a grizzled veteran like Marco Rubio, or test himself against a former champion like Arthur Abraham, Andre Dirrell or recent Froch foe Mikkel Kessler before making the leap in quality to take on Froch. It's better to see if he's at a world class level yet by facing a recent champion than diving into the deep end of a title fight too soon, he's only 25 as it is so he has plenty of time.
Still, the powers that be within the IBF have designated Groves as their mandatory challenger for Froch's title, a title Froch took from an undefeated fighter. They have signaled their challenger, set a timeline for a defense and it seems both sides agree. While the date has yet to be set, it should take place in November or December and will undoubtedly create a huge buzz in England with two Brits battling once again for a Super Middleweight strap (writer remembering electrifying Eubank-Benn bouts).
*any reference to fighter records or titles held come from boxrec.com.
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