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Carl Froch set for speedy return to the ring

Carl Froch has received support from the unlikeliest sources after rivals Lucian Bute, Mikkel Kessler and Saturday's conqueror Andre Ward all offered him lifelines following his crushing defeat by the American.

The Englishman was outclassed by unbeaten WBA champion Ward in Saturday's Super Six final in Atlantic City, losing his WBC super-middleweight title in a unanimous decision defeat.

Nottingham native Froch was visibly devastated by the result but will perhaps be cheered this week by words of support from unexpected allies.

IBF champion Bute is open to a fight with the Englishman if a unification bout with Ward cannot be made quickly and talks are believed to have already begun with Froch's team. Kessler, who beat Froch in a close thriller in Denmark last year before pulling out of the tournament with injury, would also be interested according to his promoter Kalle Sauerland. And even Ward is open to a rematch with Froch, despite the decisive nature of his win.

Sauerland, who hopes Kessler takes the WBO title against Robert Stieglitz in April, said: "It's funny because the final at the weekend was not really the end of the Super Six. There are so many questions left.

"Froch and Kessler is a fight we've got to see again. Wherever the venue is, it is the sort of fight that is made for fans. I think you could even do a part two and a part three with one in the UK and one in Denmark, wherever it makes sense and you'll get a big crowd.

"I would obviously love for Mikkel to get a belt around his waist again but I also think Froch v Kessler is a fight that doesn't need belts to sell. It's a war.

"Carl has come out of the tournament with a big name. His brand value has increased hundred-fold so I think he should still see himself as a winner, not a loser. The fairest option could be one in England and one in Denmark."

Belfast Telegraph