Carl Froch to make Nottingham return for world title shot

Carl Froch

Nottingham's Carl Froch is to fight in his home town for the first time in three years after getting a shot at the IBF world super-middleweight title.

The 34-year-old boxer has been lined up to face Canadian-based Romanian Lucian Bute at the Capital FM Arena on 26 May.

Froch has not fought in Nottingham since 2009, when he handed American Andre Dirrell a first career defeat.

He has since fought in Denmark, Finland and the United States, where he reached the final of the Super Six tournament.

But, having lost his WBC belt to Andre Ward in December, he now has a crack at the IBF version against the unbeaten Bute, in front of his own supporters, on a bill engineered by his new promoter Eddie Hearn.

"It's a dream come true to get this opportunity to become a three-time world champion in my home town of Nottingham," said Froch, excited at finally returning to the scene of his first WBC title victory, against Jean Pascal in December 2008.

"The Super Six was an incredible journey for me but I missed fighting in the UK."

"It was important I made that happen - and for it to be for a world title is the icing on the cake."

Promoter Hearn said: "I have to respect Lucian and his team for agreeing to enter the lion's den and face Carl in his home town, but am fully confident that Carl can become a world champion again."

Canadian-based Romanian Bute, who has defended his IBF title nine times since defeating Colombian Alejandro Berrio in 2007, is undefeated in 30 bouts. But it will be the first time he has boxed outside either North America or Romania during his professional career.

"It's my goal to fight the best boxers in the super middleweight division," said the Montreal-based fighter. "Carl Froch belongs in the elite of the super-middleweight division and it will be a great fight.

"I am very confident and it will not faze me fighting in enemy territory."