Ring Magazine’s Poll Of Experts Can Barely Decide Who Wins Bute-Froch; 12 Go For Bute, 10 Pick “The Cobra”

By James Slater -- Weigh-In Results: Bute 167.75 lbs; Froch 167.3 lbs -- It’s indicative of how great a match-up tomorrow’s IBF super-middleweight title fight clash between Lucian Bute and Carl Froch really is when a poll of 22 experts is almost split right down the middle when it comes to who will win. Ring Magazine’s web site asks the 22 media types who will win, and 12 pick unbeaten Bute to hold onto his title and perfect record in Nottingham, while 10 pick “The Cobra” to prevail and become a three-time champion in front of his hometown faithful.

Interestingly, every single expert predicts that the fight will go the distance. Most pick a close decision either way, but nobody sees a KO either way. Both warriors are incredibly confident ahead of tomorrow’s fight; a very real potential when it comes to this years FOTY. If we’re really lucky, we will see a classic, in which both fighters elevate themselves. No-one wants to see a controversial decision either way, and nobody is ever happy with a draw - but the May 26th war could be that, oh so close. And don’t forget, there will be a return fight in Canada if Bute loses..

Fans can expect a barnburner tomorrow, and the Nottingham FM Arena will be rocking, the rafters of the building being severely tested. This fight really is boxing at it’s best: the two premiere 168-pounders (at least this side of Andre Ward, an exceptional talent who, for whatever reason has not signed to fight Bute) going at one another. Fans lucky enough to be there live may enjoy a night worth remembering for many a year.

Froch-Bute is not the biggest fight of the year so far, but to my mind it is the best, most hard-to-pick fight of the year. Mayweather-Cotto was huge, yet deep down we all knew “Money” would win a decision, as he did. Pacquiao-Bradley is intriguing, yet it would take a brave fan to predict a Bradley win (how can Bradley win? He hasn’t got the needed punching power to halt Manny and the likelihood of a decision going against Pac-Man looks extremely unlikely).

No, Froch-Bute is the best fight that has been made so far this year. Fans of either fighter may prove to be geniuses after the fact, stating that they “knew” their fighter would win, yet right now, during the only time when it matters, no-one is willing to bet their house on either warrior. This one is not only the best match-up of the year so far, it’s also the closest-matched fight of the year so far.

Maybe we could see a draw after all? Whatever the result, I can’t really see any fans leaving Nottingham feeling unhappy tomorrow. Great fights have a way of putting a smile on your face; whether your hero has just won or lost

For what it’s worth, my pick is Froch by close decision. And then it will be roll on part-II!

Article posted on 25.05.2012

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