Carl Froch - Lucian Bute facing off for Bute's IBF Super middleweight title in Nottingham, England, this Saturday night is a fight that had to happen for the 168 pound weight class.
With Bute absent from the Super Six tournament, but worldwide known as the second or third best in the168 pound weight class, he now has the chance to make a statement in the boxing world.
That statement was Lucian Bute agreeing to fight Carl Froch in Froch’s backyard of Nottingham, England which will no doubt be the biggest challenge Bute has faced to date.
Bute deserves a lot of credit for making this happen, because no doubt he could have fought somebody else back home, defended his title and we would still have the same opinion of this talented fighter, somebody who has the potential to make an impact in the division but does not want to leave home for a major challenge.
Although sitting on the side lines for the Super Six tournament, boxing fans had constant reminders of Bute’s capabilities with brilliant performances against top rated fighters.
Bute settled the score with Librado Andrade with a sensational knockout over the guy whom many believed beat him back in 2008, highly controversial circumstances came from that fight in my opinion, but this does happen in boxing, however Bute did what he needed to do and thrilled the crowd with a dominant fourth round knockout.
Bute was again making noise in the 168 pound weight class but could not make an impact due to not being involved with the Super Six of the division. Bute carried on his career with a string of knockout victories against name fighters; Edison Miranda, Jesse Brinkley, Brian Magee and Jean-Paul Mendy.
Bute had some great knockouts against these fighters and he showed to the boxing world that he was a live challenger, but he had not faced a world level fighter to match him in the ring.
Glen Johnson, after losing to Froch, stepped up to face Bute and for boxing fans around the world this really did show where Bute was as a challenger to the top of the weight class.
Bute, as expected, won a 12 round UD, and as in all of his other fights he was highly impressive and showed off his boxing skills. The victory really solidified Bute’ position as the second or third ranked 168 pound fighter and opened up all of the gates for him, making an impact post Super Six tournament.
Froch, throughout the Super Six tournament, would refer to Bute not fighting a name fighter, and he still stands by that now.
Froch is correct about this, however, Bute has stepped up and beaten every fighter that has come his way and it is fair to say now Bute needed to take this risk in order to project his career with the big names that are out there in the 168 pound weight class.
Big names are coming closer to Bute, and, as a boxing fan, I am happy about this because it is time that he is fighting world and even elite level fighters.
When Carl Froch – Lucian Bute was first announced, I was very excited because throughout the whole of the Super Six tournament, as a fan you always wanted to know where Bute would get involved because of his impressive performances outside of the Super Six.
I didn’t think that Froch-Bute would happen, and then the IBF rated Froch as the mandatory challenger for Bute’ belt. With Froch having an official IBF ranking, the fight made sense in their eyes and definitely makes sense to the whole boxing world, in my opinion.
This is the fight that elevates either Carl Froch’s or Lucian Bute’s name into the big time and would no doubt secure the legacy of either fighter, who ever is the victor.
Bute has officially stepped up to the challenge, so to speak, when he faces Froch in Nottingham this weekend. Excitement is definitely a word associated with these two fighters; A combined record of 58 wins, 2 losses and 44 knockouts, this shows the potential of what we are going to see in Nottingham and on paper, I believe there is a chance for a real knockout here.
Looking at Bute, he is a very quick southpaw fighter who likes to hit a lot to the body. He is very impressive with his boxing skills and commands the ring with his quickness and has the ability to hurt fighters with many different punches.
Bute brings speed into this fight, speed in which he will have to use in order to win rounds and keep Froch’s pressure off. For Bute in this fight, he will have to be putting on a world class boxing display because as we know, Carl Froch is going to war with Bute.
If Bute can handle the pressure of the crowd and Froch coming forward then there will be trouble for Froch. We have seen Froch vulnerable to taking a lot of leather in fights and I have no doubt Bute will be dishing it out.
Froch, as we all know, has a world class chin and is such a high level athlete that no matter how motivated and prepared Bute is we all know he is in for a full on scrap.
World rated fighters Jean Pascal and Andre Dirrell both tried and failed to defeat Froch, although some people might have thought Dirrell won. But Dirrell was very negative and you are not going to get a decision like that when you are trying to take the belt from the home fighter.
Both Pascal and Dirrell brought speed into the ring, and in my opinion are both very good boxers. Froch matched them, though, with his determination, and non-stop pressure and adjusting when he needed to in order to secure a win.
Froch is a difficult fighter to work out, and I think this really does reflect on how good Andre Ward actually was to beat Froch that night because he had to box in order to get the decision, there was no way a stoppage was going to happen.
To beat Froch, you need a game plan, but the game plan at some point has to involve getting in close with Froch and this is where he applies the pressure and makes it a battle and this could be a problem for Bute.
You do always have to think back to Bute's first Andrade fight, where a boxer who was in full control somehow messes it up and almost loses the fight and you can compare this to a significant moment in Froch’s career when he came from behind to beat Jermain Taylor on points to retain his WBC title by an emphatic 12th round KO.
Bute has shown, albeit a long time ago, vulnerability to something like this happening and Bute is entering the lion’s den when he faces Froch this weekend, and I respect him greatly for that.
When he is actually in the ring with Froch, Bute is going to have to be at his best which he has demonstrated to us before, this is the only way he will walk out of Nottingham with his belt.
A boxing display with speed and discipline is what it takes to beat Froch; Ward showed that. Is Bute capable of doing the same?
I think the fight is going to be very close and could go either way. There are three ways in which I think this one could pan out; Froch by knockout in the later rounds, after being behind on the scorecards and turning the fight around at end in order to save his career or Froch by a close points decision and Bute feeling aggrieved by the cards. or Bute winning a close decision, but fair on most people score cards.
I think the bout could pan out in many different ways, but that’s due the class of both fighters. Whomever is going to bring their best is going to win this fight.
I personally am hoping Carl Froch can shock the boxing world again and put on another world class performance against another world class fighter. He has shown us time and time again that he is capable of doing this, he is a great fighter and with him fighting at home he knows he has to put on a spectacle for his fans.
For Bute, it’s the opportunity for him to show the boxing world that he is world class and belongs and the top. If he does a number on Froch in Nottingham, fair play to him for coming over and trying because not many others would attempt to fight Froch in Nottingham, defending their title.
This is why this clash is a world class fight; both fighters deserve a lot of credit and their promoters and networks for securing this showdown. It really is one of the biggest fights of 2012 and I really hope it lives up to my high expectations.
With Carl Froch and Lucian Bute both involved, I have no doubt that it will. I can’t wait for the fight and I wish good luck to both men (but more to Froch!)