Froch destroys Bute

30 05 2012

Well who saw that one coming?Froch KO's Bute

I for one certainly didn’t but I’m happy as Larry that I was there to see the demolition.

Carl Froch claimed the IBF super-middleweight title after destroying Lucian Bute inside 5 rounds to in his home town of Nottingham in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Froch was the underdog going into the fight, with many feeling the Romanian champ was too slick for the British warrior.

But Froch shocked the boxing world, not by simply defeating the undefeated Bute but by demolishing him in a performance full of power, determination and focus.

Backed by a capacity and raucous crowd, started quite tentatively with neither throwing too much as they felt each other out. Froch landed with one or two more flurries and in my opinion took the first round.

Again there wasn’t much to talk about for most of the second round but in the final minute or so Froch landed some shots on Bute that momentarily worried the champ and had him clinching Froch, who won round 2 in my opinion also.

Things really picked up round 3. Bute actually started quite well, landing a few solid shots on Froch before the Nottingham man turned up the heat. After he was tagged by Bute, Froch pushed forward and “bum-rushed” But landing left and rights which caused the champion to back up onto the ropes and invite Froch onto him.

That was definitely a big mistake on Bute’s part and Froch hammered away with lefts and rights, with each punching drawing a loud response from the Nottingham faithful.

Bute, whose legs seemed to have gone, grabbed onto Froch and then, idiotically, backed himself up into another corner and allowed Froch to tee off again before clinching again. It was a pattern that continued through to the end of the round, with Froch teeing off as Bute lay against the ropes and clinching whenever he got the chance. Even though there was no knock down, there’s no doubt in my mind that it was a 10-8 round to Froch.

Bute deserves a bit of credit for sticking in there but as walked back to his corner after round 3, any confidence he had going into this fight was visibly gone from the Canada-based champ.

Round 4 was fairly even, that is until the final 20-odd seconds. Froch charged Bute, who was against the ropes, and proceeded to hammer away with the bell saving Bute from his first loss. Bute struggled to find his corner following that attack from Froch and I was surprised his corner didn’t pull him out then and there.

However Froch wasn’t to be denied on this night and he jumped on Bute from the very first second of round 5. Froch stalked his opponent around the ring and backed him up onto the ropes before unleashing a barrage of power shots that had Bute’s rocked Bute’s had back numerous times.

The referee jumped in and looked as though he stopped the fight, only to attempt to give Bute a standing 8 count as the champ struggled to keep himself upright.

But that was all immaterial as Bute’s corner walked into the ring to retire their fighter out and end the contest, to give Carl Froch his third world title.

Here below is the post-fight press conference:

Hear what Froch had to say on the fight:

Hear what promoter Eddie Hearn had to say on the fight:

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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?





Froch – Bute build up

23 05 2012

Here are a few videos to get fans in the mood for Carl “The Cobra” Froch’s fight against IBF champion Lucian Bute.

The fight takes place Saturday May 26th at Nottingham’s Capital Arena for Lucian Bute’s IBF super-middleweight title.

When Worlds Collide: Froch v Bute:

Carl Froch: Behind The Ropes:

Lucian Bute: Behind The Ropes:

Froch on the fight:

Froch on rematch clause:

Bute on the fight:

Press conference:

Head to head:

Promo video:

More video’s will be added as they become available.





Cleverly set for Krasniqi (who?!?) clash

30 03 2012

Nathan Cleverly will defend his WBO light-heavyweight title against Robin Krasniqi after the WBO FINALLY sanctioned the bout.

The fight will take place on April 28 at the famous Royal Albert Hall.

The WBO initially decided against sanctioning the fight, stating that Cleverly must fight his mandatory challenger instead.

But Frank Warren has managed to persuade the WBO to allow this fight to happen, with WBO adding the stipulation that the winner must fight the mandatory challenger within 120 days.

Well it’s not exactly a fight to get excited about is it boxing fans?

Robin Krasniqi is ranked 4th by the WBO. Now some would ask “well what’s the problem then, he’s ranked 4th”. Yes that’s fine but they have Chad Dawson, who I believe would wipe the floor with Cleverly, ranked 7th and the WBC and IBO don’t even have him ranked inside their top 40. Says it all about Cleverly’s level of opposition.

Yet Cleverly, and promoter Frank Warren, will have you believe that Krasniqi will be a “hard test” and that he’ll “bring out the best” in Nathan. I hope boxing fans don’t fall for this.

I can fully understand fighters taking an easy defence here and there but when you’re 25 and only had 25 fights, with none of them being particularly tough (except perhaps Bellew), you don’t deserve to have an “easy” fight/defence.

A Carl Froch would be perfectly within his rights to take an “easy” fight due to the run he’s had, but what’s he doing; fighting Lucian Bute.

Warren seems to be pushing for a Cleverly-Hopkins fight (even if he doesn’t come through his rematch with Dawson) next. It’s a cracking fight for Cleverly to have but one he hasn’t earned and is a fight, I believe, he’ll lose. It’s nothing more than a pay-day for Cleverly.

But my message to Cleverly would be:

Get this fight with Krasniqi over with, fight your mandatory and then fight some real competition.

The likes of Cloud, Pascal, Shumenov and Campillo are the sort of fights Cleverly should be having, especially if he’s as good as he, and Frank Warren, say he is.

The Sweet Science UK prediction:

With all that said, I believe Cleverly will win. Most likely via a points decision as he doesn’t seem to have developed any real power in this division.

He does have a fantastic work-rate and that should see him through against Krasniqi but he’ll need more than that to beat the top names at 175.

 





Cleverly set for February defence

12 01 2012

Set for February defence

Nathan Cleverly is set to defend his WBO light-heavyweight title against southpaw Tommy Karpency on February 25.

It will be the Welshmen’s third defence and will take place at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.

Cleverly and promoter Frank Warren will be hoping a good performance against the American will lead to a major open-air show in the summer, possibly against Carl Froch.

This is nothing more than a stay busy fight for Cleverly and a chance for him to look good as Frank Warren is still building the “Cleverly” name up ; who I still maintain is nowhere near ready for the likes of Chad Dawson or Bernard Hopkins.

A fight against Froch, should he move up, would be a great fight for the British fans to see and could be a great fight stylistically.

I would have preferred to see Cleverly face Dmitry Sukhotsky or someone who is higher ranked than Karpency but beggars can’t be choosers.

Even a fight against fellow Welshman Enzo Maccarnelli would have been a great fight but I’d fully expect Cleverly to wipe the floor with Enzo. We should expect to see that fight at some stage as well.

I fully expect Cleverly to win via stoppage.





Froch outclassed

19 12 2011

Carl Froch lost his WBC super-middleweight title as he was outclassed by Andre Ward in the Super Six final in Atlantic City. 

Froch outclassed

Froch failed in his bid to become Super Six champion as he suffered a unanimous points decision loss to the classy American.

The Nottingham native never troubled the former Olympic gold medalist, who gave a masterful performance

In truth it was hard to give Froch too many rounds as he was made to look slow, ponderous and distinctly poor by Ward.

Ward boxed superbly throughout, using his jab to great effect and landing numerous left hooks.

Ward even managed to surprise Froch, and many others, by being the bully; backing him back onto the ropes throughout the fight.

But Froch never gave up and displayed a true warrior’s heart and fought till the very end.

On a side note, two of the judges’ score cards were just well; laughable.

I’m still left wondering how the Canadian and American judge scored the fight 115-113 to Ward. Had the British judge, who scored the fight a more credible 118-110 to Ward, scored differently we could have had another “controversial” decision. I’m well aware all judges look for different things when scoring a fight but there is no way that fight was as close as the American and Canadian judge scored it. Something seriously has to be done in the future regarding the judges’ scoring.

Froch now joins a long list of British fighters who have lost their titles abroad, but remained dignified in defeat unlike some.

The question now is where does Froch go from here?

His career is by no means over and there are a few fights still out there for him.

He could go on to fight Lucian Bute, a rematch with Mikkel Kessler or even move up to light-heavyweight and fight Nathan Cleverly.

Froch still believes that he could “get Ward” on a good night but after watching the performance on Saturday, I just cannot see it. Ward is too classy and quick for Froch and a rematch would likely result in another clear victory for Ward.

However the other fights should hold no fear for Froch.

Bute has never really fought anyone worth mentioning and has been very protected up in Canada. A rematch with Kessler would allow Froch to write a wrong and a fight with Nathan Cleverly would be a fantastic war and would make some serious money in the UK.

Anyone of these 3 fights would be fantastic and Froch would have a fantastic chance in any of these fights.

Froch should hold his head up high though. He fought like a true warrior and never gave up, fighting till the very end.

There is no shame in losing to Andre Ward (a fighter who has grown on me throughout this tournament), who by all accounts will go on to be a future P4P king.

 





Brook shines on American debut

19 12 2011

Brook shines on American debut

Kell Brook has given British boxing a timely boost following his impressive American debut.

Brook produced a controlled performance to dispose of the durable Luis Galarza inside 5 rounds on the Froch-Ward undercard.

The Sheffield native was in complete control throughout the fight, despite being caught once or twice, and almost had the contest over in the first round.

Brook landed a big right hand followed up by a spiteful jab that had Galarza stumbling, only to be saved by the bell.

“Special K” showed good patience throughout the next few rounds and boxed smartly, landing fast combinations and breaking down his opponent with a hurtful jab.

Brook finally got rid of Galarza in the 5th. He landed a big right hand which pushed the Puerto Rican back onto the ropes before unleashing a flurry that forced the referee to call a halt to the contest.

In all honesty, the stoppage was perhaps a tad premature but it was only a matter of time before Brook knocked Galarza out and the referee did the right thing to prevent any further damage.

Now we all know this was just a showcase fight for Brook; a chance to impress on his American debut, which he did.

But now is the time for Brook to step up his level of competition. Brook is in a very odd position as he is ranked the number 2 welterweight in the world by the WBO, the title that a certain Manny Pacquaio holds.

I’m not suggesting Brook seeks a fight with Pacquaio (because he’s nowhere near ready) but a fight against someone ranked in the top 10 is a must.

Maybe a Paulie Malignaggi or Devon Alexander would give us a chance to see whether Brook is good enough to challenge for a world title. Now some people might scoff at the idea of Malagnaggi but this guy is a good pro, a good opponent and in the permanent role of “boxing gatekeeper”.

Malignaggi has already called out Brook via Twitter, saying that if the price is right he’ll fight him in the UK.

This is a fight that has to be made.

Following the despair of the Carl Froch fight, British boxing might just have a new superstar on the horizon.

Time to step up: Kell “Special K” Brook.