Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn knows that Carl Froch has an obligation to face Lucian Bute again, but he's got his eyes elsewhere, too, in case Bute's team doesn't actually want to make the fight.
Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn isn't convinced that Lucian Bute will actually want another crack at Carl Froch next spring, though Froch is contractually obligated to go to Montreal for a rematch with Bute, should Bute opt to take that fight.
"We are obliged to go to Montreal in March for the Lucian Bute rematch but I don't know after his performance against Grachev and Carl's performance on Saturday that they are going to want to take him on," said Hearn.
"There's the issue of the mandatory challenger in Adonis Stevenson who is a good fighter, we want to fight Kessler and Ward said on Twitter that he could be interested in a fight in the UK and I think he'd come. I want to do a stadium fight with Carl next summer."
Froch (30-2, 22 KO) ran through Yusaf Mack on Saturday in Nottingham, winning in three one-sided rounds, while Bute's last fight came on November 3, as he struggled to a decision win in Montreal against Denis Grachev. The promoter and fighter have both talked up a series of rematches that includes Bute, even if there is some doubt there, as well as Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward, the two fighters who have beaten Froch in his career.
It is possible that if Bute opts out, Froch will make his mandatory defense against powerful contender Adonis Stevenson. It certainly wouldn't be their first choice, but Froch does want to keep that IBF title, and Stevenson is the mandatory challenger. It would also be quite a good fight on paper.
Whatever Froch does next, eyes will be on him. He's got a big buzz around him at the moment, owing in large part to the way he manhandled Bute in May, and though I personally don't see it, there's even some talk that he might fare better against Ward if the two were to set up a rematch, and holding it in the UK would definitely put a little bit of a spin on things, anyway.