Hearn: Froch willing to take Stevenson defence

IBF super-middleweight champion Carl Froch is ready to negotiate a deal to face mandatory challenger Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson before the Nottingham fighter aims for a Mikkel Kessler return in the summer.

The 35 year-old has just a few weeks to confirm his next step to the IBF or risk losing his belt and could give Stevenson a spring title shot, according to promoter Eddie Hearn, who spoke to WBN to confirm the news.

If we can’t agree terms for a unification fight with Kessler we would be happy to face our mandatory challenger in Stevenson,” Hearn told World Boxing News.

Kessler is certainly first choice for Froch, who had hoped to tie up a deal for May in his hometown, although Stevenson has now emerged as a stop-gap measure for the three-time world champion as bigger fights loom on the horizon.

A rematch with Lucian Bute is also a possibility for Froch long-term, but for now it looks as if Froch is intent on keeping his world title status in order to stay in the frame to face the likes of Kessler and unified belt holder Andre Ward later this year.

“It’s going to be a busy week ahead as we unravel the future for ‘the Cobra,” added Hearn.