Carl Froch Expecting “One Of My Best Fights” Against Lucian Bute; “The Cobra” Feels As Though He’s In His Prime

By James Slater: No less a legend than retired heavyweight great Mike Tyson has picked British star Carl Froch to beat Lucian Bute in the fast-approaching May 26th IBF super-middleweight title showdown. When asked by Metro who his favourite fighters of today are, “Iron Mike” replied “Your guy, Carl Froch - he’s a real warrior. He will beat Lucian Bute.”

Froch, beaten only twice in his thrilling pro career - by Mikkel Kessler and, last time out, Andre Ward - is confident enough ahead of the clash with the undefeated Canadian-based southpaw, yet the encouraging words from Tyson will have done no harm.

“The Cobra” was a guest on Sky Sports’ Ringside show last night, and the 34-year-old, who feels he is still in his prime, said he is expecting one of his career-best performances against Bute.

“When I fight I’m in there to entertain, I’m looking for the finish, looking for the knockout,” Froch said. “I’m not ducking and holding, I’m looking at putting on a real good show. And I think against Lucian Bute, he boxes and moves, he can punch a bit, I think this fight against Bute has the makings of a real, real showdown - probably one of my best fights. It’s a massive fight for me.”

Not only is the May 26th bout a massive fight for Froch - a great fighter who has already beaten stellar opposition such as Arthur Abraham, Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, Jean Pascal and Glen Johnson - but the fight set for Nottingham could be one of the biggest, most memorably trilling fights in recent British boxing history. But can Froch win it?

Bute, a massive super-middleweight who may move up to 175-pounds one day (as may Froch, also big for the weight) has looked close to unbeatable in some of his fights, and though he will be defending his belt in Froch’s hometown, the man known as “Le Tombeur” will likely enter the ring as betting favourite. But Froch knows he simply has to win this one or else face being removed from the elite class of his weight division. This extra motivation, combined with the roaring passion of his vocal, adoring fans, might be enough to push Froch on to a close, gruelling points win.

Froch has a granite chin, so body shots aside, I can’t see Bute stopping his man. But then again, 32-year-old Bute can be a wicked body puncher when the mood suits him. If he’s smart, Bute will indeed forget all about Froch’s iron beard (at least in the early to middle rounds) and try and break his challenger down with body shots instead. I can’t recall a time when Froch has faced such a ferocious body puncher.

However, this fight will not only mark the first time Bute has left his comfort zone of Canada in a long, long time (barring one fight in Romania), the reigning IBF champ has never before met as stubborn, as tough, as hard working and as dangerous a fighter as Froch. This fight is potentially the toughest night’s work for both champion and challenger. A 50-50 fight, I’m leaning towards Froch by close decision.

Then the sequel will be a natural for Canada. But how much will either warrior have left?

Article posted on 20.04.2012

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