Carl Froch may never fight again, Eddie Hearn has told Sky Sports.
The Nottingham puncher has been stripped of his WBA super-middleweight championship after failing to secure a defence – a Las Vegas date against Julio Chavez Jr fell through – just months after vacating his IBF title.
The 37-year-old has not been in the ring since an explosive knockout win against George Groves at Wembley Stadium last May, and his promoter Hearn admits Froch might never lace a pair of gloves again.
We have no problem with the decision from the WBA. Carl has been out of the ring for nearly a year now and there is certainly no guarantee that he will fight again
He exclusively told Sky Sports: “The WBA ordered Andre Ward to face Froch a few months back. Ward requested a special permit to have an interim bout against Paul Smith which was accepted by the WBA and now following his bout with Smith, Ward must face Froch for the title.
“We have no problem with the decision from the WBA. Carl has been out of the ring for nearly a year now and there is certainly no guarantee that he will fight again.
“They need to keep their belts active and that's not possible with Carl's current position. It's likely we will make a further announcement regarding Carl's future over the next week or so.
"It's been a year since he fought, so they have to do what they have to do to keep the belt active. It's a decision we expected.
"It's all about desire. It's a tough sport. What's made Carl Froch such a great fighter over the years is his heart and his desire and his determination to compete.
"He's not technically the greatest fighter in the world, though he is under-rated technically. What makes him great is his heart, and once that goes you run the risk, being in a dangerous sport...
"At 38 years of age I'm not sure there's a fight out there that ignites the fires within. That's when you get the best Carl Froch. We saw it against Groves at Wembley, we saw it against Mikkel Kessler. We saw it against Lucien Bute. When you've got a fired-up, motivated Carl Froch you've got one of the best super-middleweights in the world - when he's in that mood.
"When he's not, he's really not that great...against Groves in the first fight, against Andre Ward, where he didn't have the motivation. I would hate to see Carl Froch go out on a loss, purely by being unmotivated.
"He doesn't need the money - it's all about the sport. Unless the right fight comes along, Carl Froch will retire."
Fedor Chudinov v Felix Sturm will fight in Frankfurt, Germany, this weekend to decide the new WBA super-middleweight champion.