Boxing: Carl Froch will fight George Groves in all-British superfight
Froch's IBF and WBO super middleweight titles will be on the line when the two meet at the end of 2013
Tuesday 23 July 2013
Carl Froch will defend his IBF and WBA world super-middleweight titles against George Groves later this year, it has been announced.
The all-British clash will take place in late November or early December at a venue yet to be confirmed.
Froch added the WBA strap to his IBF belt when he beat Mikkel Kessler in a re-match at the O2 Arena in May, with unbeaten Groves collecting the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title on the bill with a fifth-round stoppage of Noe Gonzalez Alcoba.
"I'm excited the first defence of both my belts is a big domestic clash," said Froch.
"I am a proper fighter and a proper champion and I will always face my mandatory challenger rather than vacate the title. I've known George for a while, I've sparred with him and watched him grow and now he's my mandatory - I will be pouring everything into my preparation for the fight and George will face the very best of me."
Froch added: "It is better this way than a low-key overseas opponent as this fight will relight memories of some of the great all-British clashes and with World titles on the line it's a really huge occasion and one that will grab the attention of British sports fans."
Groves said: "This is the biggest fight of my career and being a World champion is something that I dreamed of as a kid.
"I'm well ranked across all the governing bodies but fighting Carl is the one that I wanted the most. He is a big name in the UK and a well-respected champion around the world, and I have a great team around me that can put together the right game plan to beat him and become a World champion and a major force in the super middleweight division."
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Froch added: "To defend my titles in England and against a British fighter in George Groves, it's exciting not just for me but for the fans as well.
"I've boxed for world titles in my last 10 fights, but it's always been against international fighters. So to fight finally against someone else who's English, it's a real treat for fans.
"It's a domestic [world title] fight and it rarely happens in boxing.
"He's got to bring his A game. Let's hope he comes to fight and not dance around the ring and keep safe."
Groves has earned mandatory challenger status owing to a number of higher-ranked fighters being unavailable, but Froch says he will not be guilty of over-confidence.
"There won't be a danger of me underestimating George Groves, I don't underestimate everyone," he said. "I take every single fight very, very seriously. I prepare meticulously for every single fight.
"George Groves is now mandatory for the IBF world title, and I'll fight anybody and I've proven that in my whole career.
"I'm not going to turn around and say no to a challenge against a British fighter, regardless of whether I think he's experienced enough.
"You hear people being dismissive on Twitter, but that's quite ignorant and I'm not going to go down that route."
Froch's next fight was the subject of much scrutiny, with a deciding third fight against Mikkel Kessler touted or a second bout against Andre Ward, who defeated the Englishman in the Super Six Final in Atlantic City in 2011.
"The Mikkel Kessler rematch was one that everyone was talking about," he said. "It was a very exciting first fight and a really exciting rematch.
"The third fight, the trilogy, would have had a lot of attention. But I don't think Kessler wants it. He wants some time off.
"The other fight is Andre Ward. I want to avenge that defeat before retiring, but that's not the immediate fight."
Groves comes into the fight undefeated in 19 professional bouts, but rejected the suggestion that his shot at a world title had come too soon.
"The good world champions, they usually challenge for a world title around the 20-bout mark, around my age - 25 - and they usually have to take on older, more experience guys. They don't always come up short," he said.
"People are saying it's a step too far for me right now, but we know it's not. We know what we've got to do.
"I've been written off before and I've been the underdog before. I actually relish it."
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