No Easy Way Out: Froch – Bute Preview

25 05 2012

No Easy Way Out

Carl “The Cobra” Froch will look to become a 3-time world champion when he takes on IBF champ Lucian Bute in his hometown of Nottingham tomorrow night. 

Both fighters weighed in under the 168 limit, with Froch weighing 167.3lbs and Bute coming in at 167.75lbs (see a video of the weigh in below).

This is a fight that is too close to call in my honest opinion.

Bute has been very well protected back in his adopted home of Canada and hasn’t fought the names or quality opposition that Froch has. Bute, unbeaten in 30 fights with 24 wins coming via KO, has looked very skilful in dispatching his opponents who, in truth, are a level or two below him and a level or two below Froch. He’s a silky, quick southpaw whose big body shots could cause serious problems for Froch, who has looked vulnerable against the more skilful boxers such as Andre Dirrell and Andre Ward.

However, Bute hasn’t been in there with anyone like Carl Froch before. He continues to press for 12 rounds and won’t give you a moment’s peace. He possesses a granite chin, a fantastic work ethic and packs a serious punch. How will Bute cope with that sort of pressure? Let’s not forget he was rocked big time (and in my opinion out for the count) against Librado Andrade.

While Bute has been very well protected through his career up to date, the same cannot be said of Carl Froch. His run of opponents is unheard of in modern boxing and he is the true definition of a warrior.

Froch will bring with him a wealth of experience of fighting at the elite level (something Bute does not have); he’ll have the backing of the home crowd, a relentless determination and has genuine knock-out power. The question is will he be able to impose himself on Bute? How much has that defeat against Andre Ward taken out of him?

We all know Froch is a warrior and he tends to let that get the best of him. It’s something he cannot allow to happen in this fight, he has to make sure his defence is on point. He can’t allow Bute to target the body too much. We all know Froch has a granite chin but a well placed body shot can send anyone down to the canvas. When he gets on the inside and he’s stopped throwing, tie Bute up. Don’t give him the chance to target the body.

Another thing that is vitally important is for Froch to get a good start. He can’t allow Bute to get into any sort of rhythm and build up a substantial lead. He has to get that jab going from the very start, and none of that flicking the lazy jab like has done in previous fights. Get back to the jab he used so superbly against Abraham.

This is a defining fight for both guys.

A win for Carl Froch and he’s back amongst the big boys at 168 and it would put his record beyond reproach. While a loss isn’t career ending, it certainly puts a big dent on his career.

Is he just a guy who can fight the elite or is he one of them?

A win for Bute and he finally has a legitimate name on his record and he cements himself among the elite and a potential fight with Super Six winner Andre Ward looms.

A loss for Bute is slightly more damaging. The bloggers and forum posters will have enough ammo to declare that Bute is not among the elite performers and that they were right about him from the start.

Sweet Science UK prediction

With that said I really can’t call the fight. It’s a real tough one.

How will Bute hold up against the pressure and power of Froch? How big a role will the crowd play? How will Froch deal with the champ’s body shots and southpaw stance?

If I had to choose, I’ll edge towrds the home town boy to win via points but I wouldn’t bank on it. I’ve changed my mind/prediction hundreds of times already and I’ll probably change it a hundred times again by the time the fight comes round.

What do you guys think?

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