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Froch wants Kessler or Ward after Bute win

ESPN staff
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Carl Froch has promised there is still a lot more to come from him after postponing his retirement following a thrilling victory over Lucian Bute.

Froch became a three-time super-middleweight world champion with a fifth round knockout of former IBF champion Bute in Nottingham on Saturday, bouncing back from a disappointing defeat to the classy Andre Ward in the final of the Super Six tournament last year.

Froch admitted that he was planning to announce his retirement if Bute, the heavily favoured Canadian, ended up getting the better of him - but is now looking to fight his way back to the division's summit after an impressive comeback performance.

"After the devastating defeat to Andre Ward I was left questioning my future in the sport," Froch said. "The desire has never been in question because I've always wanted to win the four belts and become a legend and remain at the top of the game until I get sick of it.

"I'm not sick of it yet. I still love boxing, I still love getting up in the morning and running, I love seeing my body change over the training camp.

"All that tonight has been brought to a head with this win."

Written off in some quarters ahead of the fight with Bute, Froch was happy to prove the doubters wrong. While Bute has the option of a rematch written into the pair's original fight contract, Froch could now be set for mouth-watering contests against the likes of Mikkel Kessler or even Ward oncemore.

"I like to be involved in big fights that I can get up for, and I think Mikkel Kessler could be the fight," Froch told Sky Sports News. "He's got a win against me - albeit a very close win that of 100 people 50 might say he won and 50 would say I won - so to get a rematch against Kessler I'd happily give him the chance to fight for my IBF title.

"That's the fight the people want to see, and I like to give the fans and the broadcasters what they want.

"Although, there is a guy called Andre Ward who has a win over me - I'd love to avenge that defeat because that's the kind of man I am."

In the meantime, however, the 34-year-old was simply happy to silence his critics.

"A lot of people, who are entitled to their opinion, had a lot to say," he said. "There's been a lot of negativity floating around but that drives me on and fuels me.

"But I did this tonight for myself. Because if I didn't win tonight, I would have been left questioning my future in the sport.

"I may have even thought about announcing my retirement. But I'm so far from that after that performance because it was so clinical and devastating.

He added: "I felt so strong and fit, I felt like I turned back time.

"I knew it was do or die. I knew that if I couldn't perform at this level any more then I don't want to go back to fighting for British and Commonwealth titles.

"But that was the very best of me tonight and there's a lot more to come in the future."

Bute, who required stitches to a cut beneath the eye following the fight's conclusion, did not attend the post-fight press conference.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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