Carl Froch can benefit as boxing finally gets it right

Guardian Kevin Francis10th July, 2009

Showtime tournament could be perfect for Carl Froch as he travels to New York for talks

The WBC 12-stone title-holder Carl Froch flies to New York on Saturday to discuss details of a proposed six-man tournament starting in October on Showtime. The points-based round robin would culminate in a final next June to determine the undisputed champion at the weight.

Undisputed, that is, by everyone except the Canadian Lucian Bute, who holds the International Boxing Federation version but has not been invited to take part because of contractual difficulties with his promoter. This, of course, would leave open the prospect of Bute fighting the winner of the tournament - and whoever that turns out to be after this extended but potentially fascinating process will be seriously richer because of it.

The other fighters in the tournament would be Mikkel Kessler, who holds the World Boxing Association title, Jermain Taylor, whom Froch beat to win his belt, rising Americans Andre Ward and Andre Dirrell, as well as the German-based, Armenian-born Arthur Abraham, who is prepared to give up his IBF middleweight title to take part.

If it does go ahead - which depends on further talks with the German promoter Wilf Sauerland next week - Froch will have the chance to do what the retirement of Joe Calzaghe denied him - win acclaim as the best in the world. It seems perverse that he should hold a world title and be in this position, but that is the nature of boxing politics.

While cynics will demur - the history of these tournaments is not glorious - there is method in the madness. If all parties can agree (no given), the tournament will bring together the best super-middles in the world, bar Bute. That might have been problematic had competing interests been left in control of arranging individual world-title fights.

For once, boxing may have got it right - and, if he prevails, Froch will be a very grateful man.