LONDON (Reuters) - Carl Froch has relinquished his IBF super-middleweight belt as the Briton recovers from the elbow injury that forced him to miss out on a fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Froch, who also holds the WBA version of the title, had hoped to fight Chavez in Las Vegas next month.
Fellow Briton James DeGale, the mandatory challenger for the IBF belt, could now get a world title shot.
"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," four-times world champion Froch, 37, said in a statement issued by his promoters Matchroom Sport.
"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."
Froch has not fought since knocking out George Groves at Wembley in May.
The Nottingham-based fighter has hinted at retirement although a money-spinning clash with Chavez or Bernard Hopkins is still a possibility.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Tony Jimenez)