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Carl Froch: Mack, Then Bute - And Then Hopefully Kessler

By Phil Barnett

Carl Froch believes he is finally getting the credit he deserves after becoming a three-time world champion with his destruction of Lucian Bute in May.

The Nottingham veteran will make the first defence of his IBF super-middleweight title against American Yusaf Mack at the Capital FM Arena in his home city on November 17.

Froch, 35, destroyed unbeaten champion Bute in five rounds in May to snatch the title and continue a remarkable run of fights against elite opposition. Now he has been rewarded with a slightly less daunting night's work against Mack, who is ranked at number six by the IBF at light-heavyweight.

"I'd had some great fights and great wins prior to the Bute fight and I'd been getting a lot of recognition for the fights I'd been involved in," Froch told Press Association Sport.

"Since beating Bute, though, I think more people have realised now that I am a top-level fighter and I do deserve respect that I probably haven't got all through my career.

"But I've put that behind me now. I'm a big name and I feel like I've arrived. Even though I'm 35 I feel like I'm in my physical peak and I'm on the crest of a wave as a three-time world champion, defending my title, then having a rematch with Lucian Bute and then maybe getting Mikkel Kessler over here after that.

"There are some big fights out there for me. I'm with the best promotional company in the country - maybe the world.

"I'm looking forward to the next 18 months to two years of my career."

Philadelphian Mack, 32, has a record of 31-4-2 with 17 early wins. All four of his defeats were stoppages but he has only lost to decent opposition, with an unsuccessful challenge for Tavoris Cloud's IBF light-heavyweight title last June his most recent defeat.

Froch has vowed not to take Mack lightly.

"I know enough about him to know he's ranked in the top 10 in the world," he said. "He was ranked number four in the light-heavyweight last time I looked and is now sixth, and anyone who has that kind of ranking at light-heavyweight deserves a world title shot.

"Because he's fighting me, in my hometown, he's going to bring an extra 20% to what he usually brings. So I've got to be ready now for someone who is really seriously considering taking my belt off me.

"So I've got to take him seriously, do what I need to do in training to prepare my body for a long, gruelling fight."

Promoter Eddie Hearn said: "I'm delighted to have secured a home defence for Carl, no-one deserves it more.

"He will be fully focused on the fight with Mack, a much bigger man who will be coming to rip that world title from his grasp."

A number of possible opponents had been speculated upon and approached by Hearn, including South Africa's Thomas Oosthuizen.

Froch (29-2, 21KOs) will then have a contracted rematch with Bute next March, in the Romanian-Canadian's Montreal stronghold, before setting his sights on old foe Mikkel Kessler.

Phil Barnett covers boxing for Press Association Sport.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by New England on 08-31-2012

[QUOTE=timbatron;12464414]Ward is a great fighter, but would I pat to watch him? Probably not.[/QUOTE] you wouldn't pay to see froch beat him, and cement one of the greatest resumes at SMW of all time? the issue is that he cannot…

Comment by New England on 08-31-2012

froch will be remembered for years as a guy who was willing to fight the best, and was always competitive, win, lose, or draw. even though ward did win the vast majority of rounds, i'm sure he finished the fight…

Comment by P4P_No1 on 08-31-2012

Froch is definitely the 2nd best at 168. There's no doubting that Ward is [B]'the man'[/B] there. I hope he does get that Kessler rematch and wins (along with whooping Mack & Bute II). Would be a terrifc way for…

Comment by Tobi.G on 08-31-2012

[QUOTE=boxingmanic;12463762]big name lol...he's only big in Nottingham..the rest of Britain hasn't got a clue who he his unless you follow boxing closely. Being 4th best in your division doesn't really warrant big name status.[/QUOTE] Froch is easily the second best…

Comment by Fetta on 08-30-2012

Good for Froch. If he does complete that list than he can claim the title of 2nd best SMW even if Ward loses to Dawson.

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