Kessler/Ward target for Froch
Carl Froch quickly turned his attention to a "career-defining" 2013 after seeing off American challenger Yusaf Mack with the minimum of fuss.
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Froch took over-matched Philadelphian Mack out in three rounds with two stinging body shots in Nottingham as he successfully defended his IBF super-middleweight title for the first time.
Mack, who had moved down from light-heavyweight to challenge Froch, was a rare 'soft touch' on paper after Froch's incredible run of elite-level fights in recent years.
Now, though, the evergreen 35-year-old is keen to nail down his plans for next year.
He is contracted to give Lucian Bute a rematch in Canada after battering the Romania-born former champion in May to snatch the IBF title.
However, Bute's camp may still decide they would rather leave the Englishman well alone after the beating he dished out last time.
That would enable Froch to make a mandatory defence against Adonis Stevenson, whose presence in the mix threatens to complicate his plans.
Regardless, Froch's promoter Eddie Hearn hopes to stage an outdoor blockbuster next summer with his man facing either Mikkel Kessler or Andre Ward - the only two men to have beaten the Briton.
"I just can't see Bute's camp wanting to take the fight after his own performance against Denis Grachev last time and Carl's performance," Hearn said.
"If we fight Bute then we need to ask for an exception from the IBF and Adonis Stevenson will have to wait. Or we could fight Stevenson.
"We also want to fight Kessler. Meanwhile, the two top things trending on Twitter on Saturday night were Carl Froch and Andre Ward because Ward tweeted saying 'I quite fancy a trip to the UK'.
"I think he'd come. I really do. I want to do a stadium fight with Carl Froch, an outdoor fight in the summer."
Hearn added: "But I also want to get a fight in the meantime. I think the reality is Bute or Stevenson then Kessler, Ward in 2013. They're the only fights that particularly interest us."
Froch said: "Other than fighting here at the arena the next best thing for me would be fighting at the City Ground. That would be unbelievable.
"To be there in the middle of that pitch fighting somebody like Mikkel Kessler or Andre Ward, I can only try to imagine what it's going to be like. It would be phenomenal.
"For me it would be a career-defining fight. I'd rather do that than go to Las Vegas, with all the lights and the glitz. I'd rather be here in Nottingham, at the City Ground. That would be 'the one'."
Froch has craved a rematch with Kessler ever since he lost a narrow points decision to the Dane in his own country in 2012.
However, he suspects the 'Viking Warrior' is keen to avoid him.
Froch said: "I speak to Kessler and have asked him about the fight and what he thinks and he's umming and ahing, then he mentions a silly figure, money-wise.
"He gets paid well in Denmark to fight mediocre fighters, so the last thing he wants to do is fight me, especially after he was sitting ringside to watch what I did to Lucian Bute.
"He's probably thinking 'you know what, I enjoy life too much - life's too short to go through that again'.
"So unless he gets paid masses of money - silly money - he's probably not going to take the fight.
"I might be wrong."