London - Britain's Carl Froch has announced on Tuesday he had vacated his International Boxing Federation super-middleweight title, thereby paving the way for a world title attempt by compatriot James DeGale.
DeGale became the mandatory challenger for the IBF belt when he defeated Brandon Gonzales on the undercard of Froch's second victory over George Groves at London's Wembley Stadium in May last year.
But Froch -- who hasn't fought since that bout with fellow British boxer Grove -- had set his sights on a lucrative showdown with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in Las Vegas on March 28.
However, an elbow injury put paid to that contest, although Froch still hopes to fight former middleweight champion Chavez in Las Vegas later this year.
"It's been a frustrating couple of weeks with terms agreed for the Chavez fight only for me to be unable to proceed in camp due to injury," said Froch.
"I know what it's like to wait for a shot and I didn't want to hold James up in fighting for a world title.
"James is a great fighter and I hope he can go out and win that title and who knows, we may even meet later in the year," he added.
Froch is still the World Boxing Association's middleweight champion, with Andrew Ward holding the WBA's 'super' title', and there have been suggestions the Englishman could come up against veteran great Bernard Hopkins later in the year.
Meanwhile, promoter Eddie Hearn said he was trying to bring Hopkins across the Atlantic for a bout in Froch's home city of Nottingham in the English Midlands.
"Talks continue with the Chavez camp regarding a summer clash in Las Vegas, and discussions have taken place with Golden Boy Promotions regarding a bumper clash in Nottingham with two-weight world champion legend Bernard Hopkins in the summer," said Hearn.