- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn has what he believes is the perfect two-fight plan for super middleweight titlist Carl Froch, the biggest star in his stable of fighters.
Hearn said he would like to make a deal for Froch to face either former titleholder Mikkel Kessler in a rubber match, or a rematch with division champion Andre Ward this winter, which is when Froch will have his next fight. After that, assuming Froch is victorious, he would like him to follow with a showdown against fellow Englishman George Groves, a top super middleweight contender and Froch's promotional stablemate.
On May 25, Froch (31-2, 22 KOs), 35, exacted revenge against Kessler, winning a highly competitive unanimous decision in an action-packed fight to unify 168-pound belts at the sold-out O2 Arena in London.
Froch had lost a similarly competitive decision to Kessler in a 2010 world title fight in Kessler's home country of Denmark during the Super Six World Boxing Classic tournament.
In December 2011, Froch suffered a clear decision loss to Ward in a title unification bout in the final of the Super Six.
Since his victory against the 34-year-old Kessler (46-3, 35 KOs), Froch has turned his attention to family matters. His longtime partner, Rachel Cordingley, gave birth to their second child, Natalia, just before the rematch with Kessler. While Froch spends time with his family, Hearn said he is busy working on the plan for Froch's next fight.
"Now that the dust has settled after a memorable night for Carl Froch and British boxing, it's time to start looking to the future," Hearn said. "Every man and his dog have been calling Carl out. That comes with the territory. But commercially, Froch versus Kessler III is just a huge fight. The first two were stunning nights and everyone knows what they would get from the decider.
"Each one has been brutal so we will give Mikkel and his body time to see if he wants to go again.
Ward, the only other man to defeat Froch, also looms, Hearn said, although that could be a tougher deal to make.
"I have made contact with Ward's promoter [Dan Goossen] and we are ready to begin discussions with them and HBO," Hearn said. "For us, the fight would have to happen wherever it would make the most financial sense and that's the U.K."
Having Ward come to England for a possible rematch has been something Hearn and Froch said was a deal-breaker. Ward (26-0, 14 KOs), 29, of Oakland, Calif., has said he was open to traveling to England for the fight as long as it was the right deal. Ward is coming off shoulder surgery and not expected to fight until at least September, meaning he will have been out of the ring for one year by the time he fights next.
Hearn said in addition to looking toward possible return bouts for Froch against Kessler or Ward, he also has his eye on an eventual fight between Froch and Groves, whom Hearn also promotes. Groves (19-0, 15 KOs), 25, is knocking on the door of a world title shot and been quite active since signing with Hearn earlier this year. He has already had three fights this year and is close to being named the mandatory challenger for titleholder Robert Stieglitz.
"We will look to [have Froch] fight this winter and then lead into a big stadium fight next summer [against Groves]," Hearn said. "I believe by then George will be [a] world champion which would make this fight one of the biggest the country has ever seen."