The IBF have moved to make Carl Froch stablemate George Groves the mandatory challenger to the Nottingham fighter’s red belt, which he earned by stopping Lucian Bute over a year ago in his home town.
According to the organisation, the Matchroom fighters must reach an agreement by July 12 and arrange the clash by mid-October to avoid the possibility of Froch being stripped of the title without throwing a punch.
It seems a surprising move by the IBF to put such a short time limit on discussions, although as long as both camps are talking, an extension of the deadline may be able to be negotiated by promoter Eddie Hearn.
Hearn has already hinted that the in-house fight could be made for this year in preparation for newly-turned 36 year-old Froch possibly facing world’s best Andre Ward in a rematch of their Super-Six battle of late 2011 and this nudge by the IBF may now confirm his original thinking.
Londoner Groves, 25, has been chomping at the bit to the get ‘The Cobra’ in the ring since his win over ex-world title holder Glen Johnson in December and may now get his wish after former mandatory Adonis Stevenson moved up to shock Chad Dawson at 175lbs.