IBF order rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves, giving Froch no option but to fight or vacate

Scott Heavey

Carl Froch's dreams of facing Julio Cesar Chavez Jr next may have been dashed, as the IBF has ordered that he face George Groves in a mandatory rematch, or give up one of his two title belts.

The IBF has ordered that super middleweight titleholder Carl Froch must face George Groves in a mandatory title rematch within 90 days, or give up his claim to their title, Sky Sports reports.

Groves met with the IBF recently to present his case that referee Howard John Foster's stoppage was biased and unfair, and apparently the sanctioning body at least saw enough evidence of an unjust stoppage that they have decided there must be an immediate rematch. Froch got the controversial win over Groves on November 23, 2013.

Groves (19-1, 15 KO) called for the rematch as soon as the fight was over, while Froch (32-2, 23 KO) initially brushed it off, but has recently said it's a fight he's open to making. Any idea of rematching Andre Ward -- Froch's only loss that has not been avenged -- is out the window, as Ward is trying to break free from his promoter, which puts him on the sidelines for the foreseeable future.

As for that fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr that Froch wants, there's a lot that could go wrong there. Chavez may not be able to actually make 168 pounds, and he could very well lose to Bryan Vera on March 1 even if he does. That's an extra month-plus of waiting to see what Chavez can or cannot do. Meanwhile, you have Groves sitting patiently, attacking the situation on all fronts, and he's got his wish.

It's hard to imagine that Froch, 36, would just give up the IBF belt. He's never shied away from challenges and it would look very weak on his behalf. Given his status in the sport and particularly in British boxing, it would be a major blow to his reputation if he ducked the Groves fight, particularly now that it's been officially agreed that the result of the first fight was iffy.

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