Bernard Hopkins next for Carl Froch?
By TOM WATT on Feb 9th 2015
The question of Carl Froch’s next opponent has rumbled on for what seems like forever and with him vacating his IBF belt last week, Froch confirmed what many expected in that he would not be defending his belt against compatriot and mandatory challenger, James DeGale. Whilst this would be a big money fight in the UK and would almost certainly net the duo a huge pay-day, ‘The Cobra’ has not hidden the fact that he wants to have a big Vegas fight before he hangs up the gloves and to be fair to the Nattingham-born fighter, he has earnt the right at this stage in his career to vacate the belt should he wish to do so.
Where he has run into criticism however is that it’s not any big fight in Vegas that he would like, but one in particular, a showdown with Mexican superstar Julio Chavez Jr (48-1-1, 32 KO). It’s a fight that has been talked about for a long time and, until recently, it seemed that most of the chatter is coming from the Matchroom fighter and his promoter, Eddie Hearn. That changed recently when it was announced negotiations were at and ‘advanced stage’ until Froch was forced to pull out with an elbow injury that has hampered him over the last few years. Since then Chavez Jr announced on Twitter that he would be fighting Andrzej Fonfar in April – despite his ongoing legal and promotional disputes.
So that leaves the on-going question, who will be next to challenge The Cobra? Froch himself recently stated that he has absolutely no desire to climb back in the ring with the unbeaten and inactive, Andre Ward, admitting during a candid interview for BBC Sport that he would probably lose on points again if he did. A trilogy match with Mikael Kessler was definitely one the fans would have like to have seen given the 2 brutal fights that have gone before but the Dane has now hung up his gloves for good so hopes of that fight have disappeared as well. And Groves… well, enough has been said about those two!
One man that seems to check all the boxes is future Hall-Of-Famer, Bernard Hopkins who at 50 years continues to defy science by fighting at the highest level. Hopkins brings with him the promotional might and backing of Golden Boy Promotions, with whom he is a partner, he has a huge fan-base in the States and across the globe and most importantly, he wants the fight. A fight between Hopkins and Froch would definitely deliver the Vegas night that Froch desires so badly and would be a Box-Office fight on both sides of the pond, delivering a huge pay-day for both fighters. It also has the added interest factor that Hopkins has fought Joe Calzaghe, a man with whom Froch’s legacy is constantly compared to in Boxing circles within the UK.
Stylistically it would be a great match-up with Hopkins providing the slick movement and counter-punching and Froch providing the rough-house, heavy-handed aggression. It would no doubt be a fight that went deep into the rounds and with the huge amount of heart both have shown through their careers neither would be likely to go down without a fight.
However, no movement seems to have been made and this morning, ‘The Alien’ took to Twitter to let the fans know exactly what he thinks of the Nottingham man:
"FIGHT FANS IN ENGLAND @CarlFroch is scared of me!! He's a phony @EddieHearn"
Whilst this seems like some good old-fashioned goading and publicity from Hopkins, there is some substance to his banter and it is easy to see where he is coming from. The American superstar claims that Froch is avoiding a tough fight with him to preserve his reputation and to take an easy win and easy money from a fight with an over-weight and over-the-hill Chavez Jr. That is not behaviour befitting of a true World Champion, particularly one that takes so much pride in being a Warrior and Hopkins is obviously hoping that The Cobra takes the bait.
However, through the years Froch has shown an amazing resilience when it comes to public opinion and his perception of himself and his legacy. - After the first Groves fight and that controversial stoppage from Howard Foster, Froch was probably the only person in the arena that night and watching it on TV that thought it was a timely intervention from the referee. Then, in the build up to the second fight Froch decided to call Groves childish throughout the build-up whilst demonstrating many characteristics himself that one would deem childish - including the shove in front of the Sky Sports cameras or refusing to stand-off at the Press conference.
There is a lot to be resolved if we are to see Bernard Hopkins Vs Carl Froch in 2015, most importantly it seems is convincing Froch the fight is worthwhile. – his reasons for avoiding DeGale (Its not a Vegas fight, it’s another British challenger & DeGale lost to Groves who Froch has already beaten) do not apply to Hopkins and his wish to have a big Box-Office fight in Vegas does apply, so The Cobra is going to have to pull out a new excuse if he is to avoid fighting the Alien. One thing is for sure, if Froch wants to continue to trade under his ‘Warrior’ image then he needs to go to war soon, and with a credible opponent.
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
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