With Carl Froch somewhat surprisingly named the IBF's super middleweight mandatory challenger last night, Froch's promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing is hoping to bring titlist Lucian Bute to Nottingham for a May 5 date, with a return bout set for later this year in Canada.
From the Daily Mail:
"Positive discussions have been ongoing with Interbox since the Super Six final and we hope to get this fight made. It is Carl's dream to have his next fight in the UK and that is something very important to both of us.
"After recent discussions, I believe we can bring Lucian here in May and we will be happy to give him the rematch in Canada once Carl has taken the IBF title from him."
As detailed last night, Bute can turn this down for the time being, but he (InterBox) would have to pay a $20,000 fee to the IBF to waive the fight for the time being, and he'd be obligated to fight Froch after an interim bout. That may wind up happening, or Froch might have to just go to Canada to fight Bute if that's the fight they absolutely, 100% want next.
Bute has been targeting April 14 for his next fight, but there have been no reported serious negotiations for him with anyone except for Carl Froch.
Prior to the news of the IBF's decision, Froch was setting up a May 5 date against Librado Andrade, Noe Gonzalez, or another foe who likely wasn't going to present a major challenge. He wants a homecoming bout, as he hasn't fought on British soil since his win over Andre Dirrell in 2009.
Keep in mind that Bute hasn't lacked home field advantage for a fight -- be it in Quebec, where he lives, or Romania, where he's from originally -- since November 2004, when he fought in Boston. That's 22 straight fights, 20 of which were in Quebec, and 16 of those were at Montreal's Bell Centre.
Getting Bute out of his comfort zone won't be easy, and money will have to be very good. But an InterBox rep did say last night that it's possible.
Froch led some to believe today on Twitter that the fight was done, but Hearn has said nothing of the sort and nothing has yet been confirmed.