By Terence Dooley
The Super middleweight division remains one of boxing's most compelling draws and the 168lbers should continue to excite over the coming boxing season, both in Europe and the U.S.A. Andre Ward, the division's consensus ruler, is the WBA’s Super World Champion yet his former foe Carl Froch, the WBA’s unified titlist, is cleaning out the division in a bid to secure a rematch with the man who handed him a decision defeat in December 2011. To this end, Froch, 31-2 (22), has moved to underline the domestic and European dominance he obtained by out-pointing Mikkel Kessler in May by offering London's George Groves, 19-0 (15), a world title shot, which will take place on here in the U.K. on November 23.
The IBF have told BoxingScene that the bout has been: ‘Tentatively approved by the IBF for November 23. It will be formally approved once we receive contracts’. It should be announced by Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sports during a press conference in London on Tuesday.
This will be Froch’s third defence of the title he wrested from Lucian Bute by fifth-round TKO in May 2010 and ensures that the 36-year-old Nottingham-based boxer maintains his busy recent schedule.
With Sakio Bika holding the WBC “regular” title that was vacated by Ward, and the WBO title in the hands of Robert Stieglitz, the fight with Groves gives Froch the chance to remove his highly-rated British rival (former British and Commonwealth champion Groves, 26, holds a top ten ranking with all of the major bodies; he is rated at number one by the WBC and WBO, two by the WBA and was recently named as the mandatory challenger by the IBF). If he gets by Groves, Froch will have added yet another top ten fighter to his list of scalps.
It could leave Ward with no option but to hand Froch the rematch he so craves. Especially as Ward's promotional situation has been resolved and he is ready to get back into action. It also gives U.K. fans, and Sky Sports, who will televise, with another big domestic fight to add to the September 28 clash between David Haye and Tyson Fury at the Manchester Arena, which is a frontrunner for the Froch-Groves encounter.
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