Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler: Hearn says Andre Ward could be next

Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler

  • Venue: O2 Arena, London
  • Date: Saturday, 25 May

Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Nottingham from 23:00 BST, and live text commentary - including the build-up and undercard fights - on the BBC Sport website, mobiles and app.

Promoter Eddie Hearn says the "brutal" nature of Carl Froch's world title fight with Mikkel Kessler on Saturday makes it tough to plan ahead but says a rematch with Andre Ward could be next.

Froch faces Kessler at the O2 Arena for the IBF world super-middleweight title, with Ward favourite to meet the winner.

Froch confident ahead of Kessler rematch

Hearn told BBC Radio Nottingham: "Everyone will want to fight Froch because there's a huge amount of money.

"Of course Andre Ward is dying for a rematch. Froch is a true superstar."

Froch, 35, suffered his first professional defeat when he was beaten on points by Kessler in his native Denmark in 2010 and Ward is the only other man to beat him.

The American was a convincing winner in Atlantic City in December 2011.

Hearn said that, as well as Ward, there are plenty of top-class fighters queuing up to take on the Nottingham man.

"It's always my job to plan ahead," Hearn added. "Bernard Hopkins has come out and said he wants to fight Froch.

"And you have to look at the big domestic fights - and in time George Groves will be a great challenger. He has to prove himself first before that happens.

More than fun and games for Froch

"There will be a lot of people wanting to fight Carl Froch because of what he brings to the table.

"But at this stage in his career, with a fight like Kessler, it is very difficult to look past Saturday night because it will be such a brutal affair.

"I can pencil the future but after this event I don't know whether he will be out in six months, seven months or eight months.

"This is a brutal fight that is about to happen. He has prepared hard for this for 12-14 weeks. He has put his body through a lot and on Saturday he will put his body through everything to win this fight.

"He is 35 years old and is getting better and better and stronger and stronger. But in a fight like this it is hard to plan the future because you have to see what the result is."

Froch says there are plenty of option but says Ward is the main man in his sights.

Analysis

Having only lost to Kessler and Ward in his career so far, it feels as though Froch is coming toward the end of his boxing life with symmetry in his mind. If he can beat the Dane on Saturday - which I'm expecting him to do - a rematch with Ward would give him the opportunity to end a tremendous and, often undervalued, career having beaten every man that was put in front of him.

Whatever happens, surely Froch will be recognised as one of the greatest boxers that the UK has ever produced?

"Andre Ward is number two pound-for-pound in the world. He is so highly ranked by everybody in England and American and all the boxing pundits that's it's almost ridiculous.

"This guy has not lost since he was 12 years old. He is an Olympic gold medallist; he is unbeaten as a professional and has a win over Mikkel Kessler and myself.

"Realistically the guy that wins this fight should be looking to avenge the defeat against Andre Ward and that is what I am looking at doing.

"There are couple of fights out there for me. Bernard Hopkins, he's talking about a fight with me then there's Jean Pascale, and then there are a couple of young pretenders coming through in George Groves and James DeGale as well.

"If they can have couple of decent wins against decent opposition then I would realistically have a look at them."