James DeGale receives IBF title shot after Carl Froch confirms decision to vacate belt
Last Updated: 04/02/15 9:38am
Carl Froch has vacated his IBF super-middleweight title and James DeGale will fight for the belt at the O2 Arena in London on April 25.
Uncertainty continues to reign over the future of Nottingham's Froch. He had been due to face mandatory challenger DeGale after an elbow injury forced him to pull out of a planned Las Vegas clash with Julio Chavez Jr.
Instead, Froch has decided to relinquish his belt and the IBF have indicated that DeGale must take on American Andre Dirrell in his bid to become a world champion, with an all-British super-fight between DeGale and Froch a possibility for later in the year.
“It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks with terms agreed for the Chavez fight only for me to be unable to proceed in camp due to injury,” said Froch, who also holds the WBA belt. “I know what it’s like to wait for a shot and I didn’t want to hold James up in fighting for a world title.
James is a great young fighter and I hope he can go out and win that title and who knows, we may even meet later in the year.
“James is a great young fighter and I hope he can go out and win that title and who knows, we may even meet later in the year.”
Talks between Froch's camp and Chavez Jr about rescheduling their bout are continuing, while veteran Bernard Hopkins has emerged as another possible opponent for the 37-year-old.
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn said: "Talks continue with the Chavez camp regarding a summer clash in Las Vegas, and discussions have taken place with Golden Boy Promotions regarding a bumper clash in Nottingham with two-weight world champion legend Bernard Hopkins in the summer."
DeGale earned his title shot with an explosive stoppage win over Brandon Gonzales last May and breezed through November's potentially risky clash with Marco Antonio Periban, stopping the Mexican.
He is hoping to become the first British Olympic gold medallist to claim a world title and victory could also pave the way for a rematch with George Groves, who is mandatory challenger for WBC champion Anthony Dirrell.
"I can't wait for April 25," said DeGale. "I'm not bothered who I fight for the title, I'm that confident in my own ability.
"I don't mind if it's Andre Dirrell, he's a southpaw as well, and we are two of the best in the division. I will get in that ring with anyone and win."
Exciting heavyweight Anthony Joshua expects his rescheduled fight with Kevin Johnson to be included on the London bill.
A back problem forced the unbeaten 25-year-old to pull out of his bout with the American, but he will continue his comeback from injury in the capital.
"April 4 is when I'll be back for a nice warm-up," he told last week's Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast. "The guy I was supposed to be fighting on January 31 [Kevin Johnson], I'll be fighting on April 25 at the O2 Arena."