In the aftermath of Carl Froch's exciting decision in his rematch with Mikkel Kessler to unify super middleweight belts Saturday in front of a raucous sold-out crowd at London's O2 Arena, much of the discussion was about the prospect of another rematch for Froch -- one with Andre Ward, the real division champion.
Froch cleaned up one of the two blemishes on his record by avenging a 2010 decision loss to Kessler during the Super Six World Boxing Classic, but one blemish still remains: a decision loss to Ward in the Super Six final in Atlantic City, N.J., in December 2011.
Froch said after beating Kessler that a rematch with Ward, who was ringside working for HBO, interested him, although he didn't seem all that excited about it. But he did make it clear that if it happens, Ward would have to be the one to travel this time, meaning he'd have to go to Froch's home turf in England. Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, Froch's promoter, said the same thing.
Ward also said a rematch interested him and that he was open to traveling as long as he got the right kind of "reward" -- meaning big money.
So what does Dan Goossen, Ward's career-long promoter, think? After all, he'd be the one cutting a deal with Hearn and HBO.
"If something warranted going elsewhere than the United States, we'd do our due diligence as businessmen, but it would certainly have to be something that would make a lot of sense," Goossen told ESPN.com. "I've got no problem listening to anyone who thinks they have something interesting to listen to. There's no sense of turning our back on anything that might be very compelling."
Certainly it would be compelling to see Ward go outside of his comfort zone and to the lion's den of England, where Froch was a good draw before he lost to Ward but has become an even bigger one since, selling out a roughly 9,000-seat arena in his hometown of Nottingham for his upset knockout of Lucian Bute to win a belt in May 2012. He drew another nice crowd there for a stay-busy defense against Yusaf Mack in November and then the spectacle against Kessler, which was also a pay-per-view event in the United Kingdom.
Ward has been a modest attraction in his home city of Oakland, Calif., but not at the level that Froch has become. Ward drew a strong crowd for his fight there in September 2012, when he hammered light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (who dropped down in weight), but his momentum was stymied because of a shoulder injury. By the time he returns in late August or September, he will have been out for a year.
When he fights again, it will not be against Froch, but it could be in the fight after that, Goossen said.
"It's not going to happen next," Goossen said. "Andre is coming off a year of inactivity and serious shoulder surgery. Right now we just have to get him back in the ring. But we'd look [at a Froch rematch] after that depending on how Andre comes out of his next fight."
That makes sense considering Froch is unlikely to be back until later in the fall anyway.
Still, Goossen said they'll consider going to England, but added this: "This was a nice victory for Carl and he had a nice attendance. He has fought his way back to earning a rematch with Andre. It was nice to see he brought in great support from the fans. But Andre also has great support in Oakland. When it's all said and done, Andre would certainly drive the ship.
"It's not about Carl or Eddie calling the shots. Andre beat Carl, Andre beat Kessler and he has earned the position as the man who calls the shots. People want to make a big deal about how Andre fought at home [for most of the Super Six], but what people kind of forget is that a lot of the fighters came to California because there was money to be made.
"The premise that we forced anyone to come to Oakland is erroneous. Every opponent made a very nice share of the income. As for the Froch fight, it was in foreign territory for Andre. It wasn't a home fight. He had never fought there [in Atlantic City]. There was no advantage for him."
Froch had previously fought in Atlantic City, beating Glen Johnson in the Super Six semifinals. The finals were predetermined by Showtime, which put on the Super Six, to take place in the United States, and Atlantic City was selected because it was correctly deemed a neutral site.
"We were never approached about going to England for that fight," Goossen said. "But as far as going forward we'd entertain any proposal. But Andre has plenty of options out there. The key to his future is staying healthy. But anyone thinking that Andre Ward is going to be dictated to would be incorrect."