Froch vacates IBF title

03/02/2015 13:18

Carl Froch (33-2, 24 KOs) has vacated his IBF super-middleweight title.

The 37-year-old has decided to relinquish the belt rather than make a mandatory title defence against countryman James DeGale (20-1, 14 KOs).

Froch was set to face former world middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (48-1-1, 32 KOs) next month but an elbow injury forced him to pull out of the planned Las Vegas clash with the Mexican.

“It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks with terms agreed for the Chavez fight only for me to be unable to proceed in camp due to injury,” said Froch, who also holds the WBA belt. “I know what it’s like to wait for a shot and I didn’t want to hold James up in fighting for a world title.

“James is a great young fighter and I hope he can go out and win that title and who knows, we may even meet later in the year.”

When he returns, the Nottingham fighter will still be aiming to face Chavez, but another possible fight is a showdown with former middleweight and light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins, who said he would be interested in moving down to super middleweight to challenge Froch.

Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn said: "Talks continue with the Chavez camp regarding a summer clash in Las Vegas, and discussions have taken place with Golden Boy Promotions regarding a bumper clash in Nottingham with two-weight world champion, legend Bernard Hopkins in the summer."

Hearn is also in negotiations for DeGale to fight American Andre Dirrell (24-1, 16 KOs) for the now vacant IBF title and hopes the clash can take place on April 25 at London's O2 Arena.

"We’re pushing for that fight to take place on April 25 in London," said Hearn. "There’s lots of work to do in the next few days but I am confident that James will fight for the world title at The O2 on April 25.”

DeGale, 29, who won an Olympic gold medal in 2008, earned his title shot with an explosive stoppage win over Brandon Gonzales in the fourth round on the undercard of Froch's rematch with George Groves in May 2014 to become mandatory challenger. In his last outing he knocked out former world title challenger Marco Antonio Periban in the third round in November.

"I'm making history," said DeGale. "I'm going to be the first British Olympic gold medallist to win a world title."