Boxing

Carl Froch: ďIt could be over very quick because when Bute feels the power and the intensity, and the pressure from me that heís never been put under before, he may just fall apart!Ē

by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) - The most recent edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with former two-time WBC super middleweight champion Carl ĎThe Cobraí Froch (28-2, 20 KOs), who is challenging IBF champion Lucian Bute (30-0, 24 KOs) on May 26 at the Nottingham Arena. Froch spoke about his upcoming fight, shared his opinions on what he thinks of Bute as a boxer, and also discussed other aspects pertaining to his career including his experience in the Super Six and his loss in the Final to Andre Ward. Here is what The Cobra had to say:

Regarding his upcoming fight against Lucian Bute:

ďYeah Iím very excited about fighting in the UK for a change, and for it to be on my home soil so to speak in Nottingham, Iím very excited about it.Ē

His views on the type of reception Bute will receive from the audience:

ďYou know heís the away fighter. Heís not going to be well received. Theyíre going to be polite and theyíre going to be honorable, because heís a fighter and the fight fans got a lot of respect for both ends. But heís going to get booed. Iím going to get cheered. Iím the home fighter. Heís the away fighter. Heíll get plenty of respect before and after the fight. Iím sure he will. He comes across very well. You see heís a gentleman. Heís very polite and he speaks well. So itís not like when Andre Dirrell came over and he was very mouthy, and a bit cheeky, and leery and a bit arrogant, you know. Lucian Bute is none of them so heíll be alright.Ē

His views on the recent announcement that Bute was suffering from a foot problem:

ďYeah I heard about it! I was a bit worried that he was going to pull out, and it seems that the antibiotics heís been on from the doctors has cleared up the infection and heís okay! Heís fit and healthy to fight. So itís good news! I donít think it would have affected him too much. I think it was a toe or a foot infection that spread up his leg a little bit, but if heís got antibiotics then that will be straight on top of it and clear it up. Iím sure itís fine and Iím glad heís not going to delay the fight. We could do without that to be honest.Ē

On what he is expecting from Bute on May 26:

ďWhat am I expecting from him? Yeah! Iím expecting him to come and fight the fight of his life! Thatís what he needs to do to keep his title in my hometown, because itís going to be very tough for him. Iím coming with all guns blazing, fit and strong. Iím feeling very good so I expect Lucian Bute to show up like a professional, to be fit and strong, and to come and win. In his mind heís coming here to win the fight but heís got a very tough task (1) because heís away from home, heís in my back yard, and (2)because heís fighting me. Heís not fought anybody at my level in his whole career. But having said that heís beaten everybody heís faced. Thatís all you can do, beat whoís in front of you.Ē

On what made him to decide to take on a guy like Bute coming off the loss to Andre Ward in the Super Six Final following the tough stretch of opponents he has faced since even before the Super Six even started:

ďYou know itís just the kind of man I am. Iím very, very disappointed I lost the WBC title. So with that away then to get straight back into world title contention, so thatís just where Iím at. I didnít want to fight a Joe Bloggs, or a bum of the month, or a journeyman. I just didnít want to do it. I got no motivation for that and no desire to just have a warm-up fight and a tick over fight. Iím 34 years old. I feel Iím in my prime. I feel fit and strong, and I feel great. But you know Iím not 24. Iíve not got time to waist. You donít see Floyd Mayweather fighting Joe Bloggs and names that you donít know about. Iím not saying Iím Floyd Mayweather by the way, but you get what Iím saying. Heís always involved in big fights. Even if he has a year out or even if heís inactive for awhile, he doesnít come back and have a steady fight. Now I know Iíve been fighting the best of the best, but thatís what Iím about! You know Iím a manís man! Iím very, very serious about the sport and very serious about boxing. I really want to get a world title back around my waist. So the only way to do that was to fight Lucian Bute, because the WBC title wasnít available, the WBA wasnít available because Ward had it. So IBF, thatís the next best one as far as Iím concerned. There are only three major governing bodies and thatís the WBC, WBA, and IBF. So Lucian Bute was there and my promoter did a fantastic job and made the fight. So Iím a very happy man.Ē

His evaluation of Buteís skill set as a boxer:

ďI think heís a very good boxer/fighter. He can box, he can move, as all southpaws can. You know southpaws are so awkward and theyíre quite skillful, but theyíre counterpunchers. They move on the back foot and they like to pick you off at range. Heís very good Bute. You got to give him his credit. Heís quite an all arounder. For a southpaw he can fight a bit on his front foot, he can box and move, he uses the ring well. So heís got a lot of skills. Heís fast. He can bang. If you look at his record is it 28 or 30 wins he stopped about 24. Heís got a high percentage knockout ratio. So heís got a lot of positive attributes going for him, other than the fact that the level heís been mixing it at hasnít been at a super high standard. I mean the two names that stand out on his record are Brian Magee and Glengoffe Johnson, two fighters that Iíve also beat. I knocked out Magee quite bad six years ago, and I broke my hand in round two and I got my knockout later on. I think that fight would have lasted two or three rounds if I didnít break my hand in round two. Weíve shared another name actually, Sergey Tatevosyan. We shared that opponent. He went twelve rounds and won on points, and I knocked out Tatevosyan, well I stopped him on his feet in the corner in round two or three I think. It might have been round two. So on paper Iíve done a better job than Bute. Iíve beaten a better level of opposition, and I fought at a higher level for longer, and with the opponents weíve got in common Iíve made easier work of them. Although there is an argument that he did a better job against Johnson than what I did. When Johnson fought me, Glengoffe Johnson, he came to fight. I donít believe against Bute that Johnson came to fight. I think he just came to get through the fight, and that makes a big difference when someoneís putting you on your back foot and letting shots go. With that aside Bute is a very good fighter who deserves respect. Heís unbeaten and Iím looking forward to taking the title off him, because I really believe I got what it takes to put him under some serious pressure. Especially in my backyard, especially in Nottingham, Iím putting him under a lot of pressure with a high work rate. Iím super fit at the minute. Everything is going well in the gym. I did 13 rounds the other day. I did 7 and then 6 and I just did 12 rounds today. I just weighed out at 167 pounds and 4 ounces, and when I went in the gym I weighed 170, and Iíve weighed about 167.5. So Iím on the way, Iím in great shape, and Iíll stop talking now and let you ask another question.Ē (laughs)

On how he would rate Lucian Bute amongst the other top opponents he has faced in his career:

ďItís difficult to do that, because I thought about this. Somebody asked me a similar question the other day, and because heís not fought at that top, top level. The Johnson fight doesnít really count, and the Brian Magee fight donít count either because Brian Magee is well past his best. Heís had a couple of good ones of late, but really heís well past his best. Itís hard to judge. Itís hard to judge a level of opposition based on just what you see, especially when theyíre fighting low level opposition. You know Lucian Bute might be a great, he might be an all time great, and he might be up there pound-for-pound, but at the minute there is nothing that indicates or proves that he is. You know I fought Mikkel Kessler whoís been in the ring with the likes of Joe Calzaghe and top level fighters like that; and Andre Ward is now being considered pound-for-pound one of the top five; and Andre Dirrell, you know theyíre both Olympic Medalists; Arthur Abraham was a knockout puncher and had beaten everybody, and I just got a flawless victory over him; Jermain Taylor was undisputed middleweight champ. He just beat Jeff Lacy and then he fought me on a high. He felt confident he was going to take my belt, and that was a good fight and one that I finished emphatically and dramatically at the end. So you could look at me and say heís a good fighter because of this, this, and this. But when you look at Bute you can say heís a decent fighter, but in all honesty who has he beaten and what has he done? He got knocked out as an amateur quite bad. I know that was a long time ago by Golovkin, but he got knocked out as an amateur! You should not really be getting knocked out by amateurs to be honest. If you got a good chin, with the head guards and the gloves, you donít really get that badly hurt and he was knocked out cold. And letís not forget the Librado Andrade fight! Now I know he stopped him to the body in the rematch, but you only got to look at that fight and really and truly Lucian Bute lost that fight by knockout stoppage late. He was saved by the referee in the dying seconds as far as Iím concerned, because he was badly gone. So you could count that fight as a loss. Itís hard to assess him and say heís this good, but weíre certainly going to find out, arenít we, how good he is on May 26 because heís in Nottingham and heís facing Carl Froch, The Cobra, whoís on the comeback trail so Iím very dangerous and Iím very hungry.Ē

His views on the upcoming heavyweight showdown between David Haye and Dereck Chisora:

ďYou know what? Iíd rather not comment on that at the minute, because Iím thinking about my fight. My fight is two weeks away, and I donít even want to take anything away from my fight one bit. Itís so important to me this world title. Iím coming off the back of a loss, and to me, itís all about me at the minute. So I got nothing to say about that.Ē

His evaluation of his performance in his decision loss against Andre Ward in the Super Six Final:

ďOh I had a very bad night! It was a poor performance by myself. I was loading up. I was trying to knock him out. I was tensing up, and showing him my punches, and trying to hit him hard instead of boxing and moving and putting 3s and 4s together. It was a below par performance for me, and it was a very good performance from Andre Ward. You got to give him his credit, because with what he does heís very boring and you know heíll put a glass eye to sleep, but heís effective. He gets the win. So give him his credit, but letís not get excited because heís not very exciting. But you know he beat me fair and square! I got to be honest. He did enough to win. I didnít hit him enough.Ē

On whether he would be interested in pursuing a rematch with Ward for a unification match in the event he beats Bute:

ďAbsolutely not if Iím totally honest. I think Andre Ward steps up to light heavyweight anyway, so I donít think a unification fight with Andre Ward is there. Because of the reasons Iíve said about Ward Iíve got no aspirations or desire to fight him. I donít like that style of fighting! I got no respect for it. Itís obviously very effective with what he does, but letís be honest. Heís not very exciting, and Iím an exciting type of fighter. Iím in there to entertain, Iím in there to please the television, put bums on seats, and get the crowd going. And a fight with Andre Ward, anybody against Andre Ward, itís never going to happen. Look at all of his fights. Theyíre all the same.Ē

On what fans can expect when he squares off against Bute on May 26:

ďWhat can they expect? Yeah. They can expect fireworks! Itís going to be a great night of boxing between two top athletes. You know Lucian Bute wants to defend his title away from home against me, a top level fighter. I so badly want to win this world title in front of my home fans. Iíve left no stones unturned. So the fight fans, the non-boxing fans, the armchair fans, the TV broadcastersótheyíre in for a real, real treat. Let me tell you. This is going to be a great, great fight for the fight fans. It really is. This fight can end in one of two ways. It can either go the distance and be a real humdinger for twelve rounds where he is trying to survive and heís letting shots go, and Iím putting him under pressure and landing body shots and head shots. There may even be a knockdown involved. He may go down and get back up and then hold on. Or it could be over very quick because when Bute feels the power and the intensity, and the pressure from me that heís never been put under before, he may just fall apart! It might just be a one-sided performance by me. But either way itís very exciting and fight fans should be looking forward to this one. They really should. Itís amazing that a major American broadcaster, and Iím not saying that EPIX isnít a decent TV channelóbut itís disappointing that Showtime has turned their back on this one and that HBO arenít involved, because I think it warrants a big box office and it warrants a big TV station getting a hold of it. Thankfully we got Sky Sports in Britain onboard, which is great for people in Britain. But I think the American fans deserve to see this fight on one of the major networks. But there you go. Itís not my decision. Itís the paymasterís decision and theyíve decided not to go with it, which is amazing really.Ē

On whether he has anything to say he would like to pass on to all of his fans:

ďAll The Cobra fans? Yes of course! I always got time for them! Thanks very much for all of your support. Itís been a wonderful journey. Iím not saying the journey is over. You know Iím a former two-time WBC champion. Iím now fighting for the IBF title and this is the most important fight of my career, because I cannot go out on my career on a loss to Ward in the way in which I lost it. It was just a dull fight! It was a terrible night for me, and a night in which it brings me great sadness and it upsets me when I think about it. Itís just awful! So this fight for me now with Bute means everything, and all of my fans that have been behind me, they supported me from start to finish and traveled all over the world. Itís not cheap following The Cobra. Iíve been away that much and my British fans have to dig deep into their pockets to come and support me. But I got a lot of love as well in America. There are a lot of American boxing fans that support me and are behind me. So I just want to say a big thanks to all of them, and be watching me because the journey is not over yet!Ē

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For those interested in listening to the Carl Froch interview in its entirety, it begins approximately one hour and nineteen minutes into the program.

RIGHT CLICK and 'SAVE AS' TO DOWNLOAD EPISODE #168

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Article posted on 15.05.2012



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