Froch considering 'home and away' double bash with Bute
Carl Froch is closing in on a novel 'home and away' fight deal with IBF super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute as he plots his ring return.
The Nottingham fighter lost his WBC title to WBA champion Andre Ward in December's Super Six final in Atlantic City.
However, talks with Canada-based Romanian Bute began on the morning of the Ward fight and Froch's promoter Eddie Hearn believes negotiations are nearing a conclusion.
He said: 'We're speaking to Bute's people about a two-fight deal, April 14 in Montreal and then end of July or early August in Nottingham.
Recovery: Carl Froch's last appearance was an unhappy defeat against Andre Ward
'Those talks started on the morning of Carl's fight against Andre Ward.
'Because, win or lose that one, they wanted to fight Froch.'
Froch has not fought in Britain since his defeat of Andre Dirrell in the Super Six tournament opener in 2009.
Hearn therefore wants to give his man a chance to compete in England but knows Bute is notoriously reluctant to venture outside Canada.
'My big concern is that I want a home fight for Carl,' he said.
'I will only do that fight with Bute if we get the home and away part agreed. They are up for that.
'But what they are saying, which makes sense, is that if the first fight is a stinker, or someone knocks someone out in two rounds, then we can't really do the rematch. We all know that.
'The way around it is to put something in the contract that says for example if there is a knockout within six rounds, there will be no return match.
Spoiling: Bute was ready to fight Froch whether or not he beat Ward
'If it is a points decision wider than six rounds, there is no rematch.
'But you run that risk. Don't forget, Carl is the challenger now. You lose a bit of negotiating power. People Tweet me saying 'Don't do that! Don't go and fight him over there!'
'Well you can't go 'you come here' to Bute because he'll go 'hang on a minute mate, I'm the champion'.
'They will make us an offer this week, probably, then we'll look at the money.
'They will know the kind of money we've got, they will know the kind of money we expect, so I don't think the money will be a major problem.'
Hearn added: 'It's just whether we do that or do we do a big fight in Nottingham at the end of April, a homecoming. Which route do we go for
'But he's just sitting at home chilling, waiting for that dreaded call that says 'mate, you've got to go back to work!'.
Double: Now Froch is looking at a double-header against Bute
'Carl has got a lot of nice options.'
One of those could be a rematch with Mikkel Kessler, who beat him in a close fight in Denmark in 2010.
'Kessler's team would love the Kessler-Froch fight,” said Hearn. 'Kessler fights on April 14 against Robert Stieglitz for the WBO title and we'd love to do something at the end of the summer with Kessler, for his first defence.
'I think to be honest Ward, Bute, Froch and Kessler are the four super-middleweights that anybody is really interested in. There will just be a kind of round robin in the next two years between them.
'It's like the old days of Benn, Eubank, Watson, McClellan, Collins, that sort of thing. It can go round and round and round.
'George Groves and James DeGale may come into the mix later on.'