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Ward-Froch rematch ordered

2/28/2015
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Here’s a curveball: The WBA has ordered inactive super middleweight champion Andre Ward and injured regular titleholder Carl Froch, who technically is Ward’s mandatory challenger, to fight a rematch.

On Saturday, the organization said it notified both camps to begin negotiating. It has given their camps 30 days to reach an agreement for a fight that it says has to take place in “a period no longer than 120 days.” If the sides fail to make a deal, a purse bid would be ordered.

The order means that the fight is supposed to take place by the end of June. However, there is almost no chance of that happening.

Froch is out until this summer because of an elbow injury, one which already prevented him from making a mandatory defense that was due for his other alphabet title. Froch (33-2, 24 KOs), 37, of England, gave up the IBF version of the title because he was unable to face countryman James DeGale (and frankly, he was also uninterested).

Froch has said he wants a big fight in Las Vegas and two names on is radar are former middleweight titlist Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (who fights in April) and former light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins, who has said he would drop down to super middleweight to face Froch.

Froch perhaps would like to face Ward to avenge his one-sided loss to him in December 2011, but the timing of the order seems difficult to overcome.

Ward and Froch met in the final of the Super Six World Boxing Classic to unify 168-pound world titles and Ward whipped him in a decision win in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Ward (27-0, 14 KOs), 31, of Oakland, California, has only fought twice since he beat Froch -- once in 2012 (10th-round KO of Chad Dawson) and once in 2013 (lopsided decision against Edwin Rodriguez) -- because of injuries but largely because of a protracted (and seemingly unnecessary) battle with his late promoter, Dan Goossen.

Goossen died in September. In January, Ward and Goossen Promotions finally reached a settlement and he became the first significant fighter to sign with Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports. But there has been little movement in terms of a fight date of opponent.

One thing Ward has made clear, however, is that he does not intend to jump into a big fight upon his return, claiming he needs a tuneup-type of opponent after having not fought since November 2013. Obviously, Froch, who is unlikely to be ready to fight by June anyway, is a much bigger fight than a tuneup fight.