Froch sets sights on Kessler rematch but world champion may have to bide his time
12:00 GMT, 6 July 2012
Carl Froch only has eyes for old rival Mikkel Kessler as he maps out his fighting future.
The three-time world champion will return to action against a leading contender in November before facing Lucian Bute in a rematch in Montreal in March 2013.
However, his overriding priority is the chance to settle a score with Kessler next summer after the Danish warrior beat him in a close decision two years ago.
Hammer blow: Carl Froch (left) stunned Lucian Bute in May
Nottingham veteran Froch, who turned 35 this week, told said: 'The rematch with Kessler is the fight I really want because he's got the win against me on his record and on my record.
'That's something I want to rectify and it's also a big fight for the fans. It's a massive fight for the fans.
'Me and Kessler gel as fighters and it makes for a really good spectacle. That's the fight I want more than anything else, it really is.'
Champion again: Carl Froch
Froch tore Bute apart en route to a fifth-round stoppage to claim the IBF super-middleweight belt in May and few expected the Canada-based Romanian to exercise a rematch clause.
However, Bute's team have taken that option and both men will have a fight later this year before doing it again next spring.
Froch – who has garnered huge worldwide respect for his punishing run of fights against elite opposition – is not planning to take an easy voluntary defence now.
'I don't want to fight any stiffs or have any easy fights,' he said. 'I want to fight someone who is credible. So whoever is in line who is credible, I'll fight.
'But the big one for me, the fight I want, is Mikkel Kessler. Whether it be this autumn or early next year, if it makes more sense to have it at the City Ground, bring Kessler over here, that would be a massive occasion.
'It would be fantastic and a chance for me to set the record straight in terms of that defeat.'
Froch's promoter Eddie Hearn has no doubt the Kessler fight will happen.
He said: 'I think if I looked at mapping out Carl Froch's next three fights from a financial and career-prolonging point of view, I would take a top-10 defence this autumn, perhaps at the Nottingham Arena, then fight Bute in Montreal and go and do a job on him again, then in the summer have a big outdoor fight with Kessler.
Previous: Froch is desperate to avenge his narrow defeat to Mikkel Kessler
'That Kessler fight will happen, 100 per cent. Whether it's October or spring or summer, that fight will happen. It's too good a fight not to happen.
'It's just a case of getting all the financial details in place and making sure both boys are happy. Carl is a lot easier to deal with in that respect than Kessler but they have both got their demands, their numbers that they think they are worth.
'It's a huge fight which we know will sell out every stadium in the country.
'It's probably going to sell out every football ground in the country. When you've got that kind of interest and that kind of money involved it is a fight that has to happen.'