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James DeGale signs deal to face Carl Froch in January

The fight is not a done deal yet, but James DeGale has put his name on the dotted line to face Carl Froch at the O2 Arena in January 2015.

Paul Thomas
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

James DeGale, who is currently the mandatory challenger to Carl Froch's IBF super middleweight title, has reportedly signed to face Froch on January 31, 2015, at the O2 Arena in London. This does not mean the fight is a done deal, but the word going around is that this will likely be Froch's next fight, as there just isn't a whole lot else out there.

Froch (33-2, 24 KO) is coming off of back-to-back wins over George Groves, and fought just once in 2014, a July stoppage of his rival at a packed Wembley Stadium in what was one of the biggest fights of the year, no matter the location. At 37, Froch is potentially winding down his career, and may even have an exit strategy.

There is some talk that Froch will face DeGale in January, then look to secure a Las Vegas fight for next summer, which could be against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr or Gennady Golovkin, potentially. If that plan fails, Froch could face Mikkel Kessler at home in Nottingham in a third fight between those two. And there is also talk that Froch may hang up the gloves at the end of 2015. The plan seems to be for Froch to fight three times next year -- in January, in the summer, and then in November, with one of those fights happening in Las Vegas, and one in Nottingham, to go with the January bout at the O2.

DeGale (19-1, 13 KO) trounced Brandon Gonzales on the Froch-Groves II undercard to secure his mandatory position, but he does have a November 22 date lined up with Marco Antonio Periban, and that's no gimme. Periban is a rugged fighter and a solid fringe contender who cannot be overlooked. That fight could also be scrapped if Froch does sign to face DeGale in January. It's also possible that Froch could face Kessler in January, DeGale next summer, or whatever. There's a plan for now, but it may not go according to script, either.

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