CARL Froch has reacted to his thrilling victory over Mikkel Kessler by demanding Andre Ward travels to the UK for their rematch as he plots revenge for the second defeat on his record.
Only Kessler and Ward have mastered Froch and, on Saturday night, the 35-year-old from Nottingham took the first step on his “road to redemption” by retaining his IBF super-middleweight title against the man who dethroned him in 2010.
In a savage 12-round collision fought before an electric 19,000 capacity crowd at the 02 Arena, Froch secured a 118-110, 116-112, 115-113 decision, although the first scorecard was flattering.
With Kessler accounted for, Froch has turned his attention to unbeaten WBA “super” champion Ward, the man who outclassed him in Atlantic City in December 2011.
“If I could avenge the Andre Ward loss... could you imagine that?” said Froch, who banked his 31st win. “The only two people to have beaten me are Kessler and Ward, so to beat them is the stuff dreams are made of. Beating Kessler is the first step on the road to redemption.
“I have two belts [IBF and the lesser WBA belt that Kessler held], so what choice does he have but to come to the UK? Why would I go to America to fight someone like him?
“No-one wants to face him, so he must come over here. I boxed him in the US, so the next one has to be in the UK. Let’s get him out of America.”
Ward appears open to a first fight outside the United States or Caribbean, declaring last night during his stint as an analyst for HBO that it would have to be staged at Wembley.
“Andre has absolutely no options. Tell me another fight out there for him at super-middleweight,” promoter Eddie Hearn said. “That’s why he was at the 02 – he wants the fight with Froch. That’s a massive fight.
“We’re sitting here with two belts and Carl has just catapulted himself to huge new levels in terms of sporting prestige in Great Britain, so we’ll relax and take our time. If Andre wants the fight, then it will have to be where we want it.”
Froch and Ward spoke briefly after Saturday night’s thunderous showdown, the American bristling at criticism of his style, which for all its technical brilliance is rarely easy on the eye.
“Andre’s fantastic in that he knows how to win, so he would be very hard to beat,” Froch said. “In terms of style he’s a nightmare. I had a chat with him after and I think I upset him because I said that in terms of style he’s not the most exciting fighter.
“Nobody gets excited about him when he fights and that got his back up. I told him I was talking style not personalities and that his style would put a glass eye to sleep.
“People don’t rewind the tape and watch Andre Ward fights because he’s effective – he’s unbeaten since he was 12 years old – but he’s not that exciting.
“But next time if it happens in the UK it would be exciting because I know what to do.
“He’s a big lad and struggles at the weight, whereas I do it so well. I’m fit for 12 rounds.”
Inevitably after such a gripping contest, attention also turned to the potential for a decider against Kessler.
Both men emptied the tanks, delivering and taking blows throughout, but Froch suspects a rematch is unlikely. “I would like to do it again. In terms of styles we make for an entertaining fight, but I’m not sure if he’d like to do it again,” he said.
“If you asked him if he wanted that again, I don’t think he would. But it’s 1-1 and there’s always the chance of the trilogy.”