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Froch-Groves set for November

ESPN staff
July 23, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Carl Froch is set to defend his world title belts agaisnt fellow Briton George Groves © Getty Images
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Carl Froch will defend his WBA and IBF super-middleweight titles against fellow Briton George Groves later this year - but has warned the unbeaten 25-year-old that he is not ready for the challenge.

The Matchroom stable-mates have been in discussions for a showdown for some time and are now expected to meet on November 23.

Froch is fighting for the first time since beating Mikkel Kessler at The O2, while Groves, unbeaten in 19 bouts, claimed the vacant WBA intercontinental title on the undercard with a fifth-round stoppage of Noe Gonzalez Alcoba.

And the 36-year-old made his thoughts clear on Groves, who sparred with Kessler in Denmark ahead of their unification rematch.

"He himself would admit he's probably two or three fights away from me," Froch told Sky Sports News. "It would have been nice to see George Groves fight somebody ranked top 10 in the world, then you could say he's ready for me.

"From that point of view - from the boxing purists' point of view - George Groves isn't ready for me. He isn't ready for this challenge because of what I've been doing to the calibre of opposition I've been fighting."

Froch added: "Let's hope he comes to fight and doesn't come to dance around the ring and try and keep safe, which would be the sensible option. Let's hope he gives the fight fans what they want and we can make this a great British domestic dust-up.

"Don't make it a running and hiding mission. Stand your ground, because you can fight."

But Groves baulked at Froch's "desperate" attempts to dictate the style of the fight. "Already you're asking me to conform to a certain style for this fight - why?" Groves countered. "I have a few variations in how I can approach this fight - you're very one-dimensional, you like to walk forward and brawl your way through, which has worked very well for you.

"Everyone's going to be saying that it's a step too far for me now, but we know that it's not. I've been written off before and been the underdog before, and I relish it.

"I'm there - I'm ranked No. 1 and No. 2 with the WBO and WBA, No. 1 with the WBC, and while Carl tries to say that I fluked my way into the IBF mandatory, it was only a matter of time before I was fighting for a world title, and only a matter time before I was going to fight Carl Froch.

"So far there is no blueprint for beating me."

Froch admitted he still harbours hopes of avenging the one defeat that remains unsettled in his career against Andre Ward, but was adamant that he will not underestimate Groves when they meet later this year.

"I never shirk a challenge," Froch said. "I'll fight anybody - Godzilla, George Groves, whoever you put in front of me, I will fight them."

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