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.





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.

 





Froch – Ward: Super Six Final

17 12 2011
The wait is finally over. 

Froch & Ward at the weigh in

After two years of blood, sweat and tears the much maligned Super Six final will take place, with two of the original cast ready to battle it out for the trophy.

Nottingham’s warrior Carl “The Cobra” Froch faces off against Oakland native Andre “S.O.G.” Ward in Atlantic City to decide who is the number one super middleweight in the world.

The winner of this fight is sure to be launched into boxing “super stardom” and possibly face Lucian Bute for the IBF title.

Both fighters have faced tough opposition during this tournament and fully deserve their place in the final.

The road to the final: Andre “S.O.G.” Ward

Ward has beaten the Mikkel Kessler, Allan Green and Arthur Abraham but has had the luxury of never having to fight outside of America. He even had the comfort of having his first two fights being in his own backyard of Oakland, California. His promoter, Dan Goossen, deserves a major pat on the back for getting such a brilliant deal for his fighter.

But that should not detract from the fact Ward has never been in trouble against any of his Super Six foes. Kessler, the tournament favourite, was outclassed for 11 rounds before being stopped following a clash of heads. Now Ward has received some criticism for this, with the Kessler camp believing they were deliberate, but Ward earned a technical decision victory to claim the WBA super middleweight title.

Up next for Ward came fellow American Allan Green. Ward fought superbly on the inside, backing up Green on the ropes for most of the fight, and dominated to cruise to a unanimous decision victory.

Those two victories earned Ward a semi-final bout with Abraham. Ward started out a little slowly but took control from around the 3rd/4th round and dominated the gutsy Abraham. Abraham never really troubled Ward until the last round, where he did manage to hurt him a few times, but it wasn’t enough and Ward, once again, cruised to a lopsided unanimous decision.

The road to the final: Carl “The Cobra” Froch

It’s fair to say that Carl Froch has had a much tougher road to the final.

Froch’s first fight came against the slick Andre Dirrell in his home town of Nottingham. Froch struggled to get close to Dirrell, who fought superbly, and was very fortunate to earn the split decision victory. It’s fair to say it was definitely a home-town decision.

But Froch was on the receiving end of a controversial decision in his next fight against Mikkel Kessler. Froch started out slowly and Kessler took advantage in the early rounds. However Froch did rally in the later rounds to make it a close fight, with both fighters having their moments. But the decision went to the home fighter as Kessler claimed the WBC title and inflicted Froch’s first professional defeat.

However, following Kessler’s withdrawal from the competition, Froch was awarded the opportunity to earn back his WBC title against Abraham. Both fighters were in the last chance saloon in the tournament but it was Froch who rose to the occasion as he produced his best performance to date, dominating Abraham from start to finish, defying the critics who believed Froch was nothing more than a brawler. Froch stuck to the game plan given to him by trainer Rob McCracken and used his jab and reach to keep the powerful Abraham at bay, as he re-claimed his WBC title via a unanimous decision.

The win over Abraham sealed Froch’s place in the semi-final against veteran Glen Johnson. The opening few rounds gave little away as both fighters felt each other out but Johnson upped the pressure in the following rounds. Froch managed to keep him at bay by landing good counter punches and combinations. But Froch slipped back into his bad habits as he kept his left hand low, allowing Johnson to connect with straight rights through the middle rounds. Froch displayed his fantastic chin and fought back with good combinations once again to force Johnson back. As Johnson began to gass, Froch upped the pace and won the championship rounds convincingly to earn his place in the final against Andre Ward.

Sweet Science UK prediction

Carl Froch has all the heart and determination in the world and I’m really hoping he can pull it off. He’s been Britain’s best fighter for some time and it’s a travesty he hasn’t had the recognition he’s deserved.

However he does face a massive test against the heavily fancied Andre Ward. It’s fair to say this is the toughest fight either fighter has had so far and it’s a tossup as to who will win.

Andre Ward is betting favourite but Froch should not be easily dismissed. Froch has the height and reach advantage and will have to use that to his advantage, using his jab to keep Ward off balance and to back him up. He’ll have to be more disciplined than he was against Johnson and keep his left hand high up, because even though Ward isn’t a massive puncher he can’t afford to give Ward that kind of target on a regular basis.

Froch will have to try and find the right balance between his style for the Abraham and Johnson fight. Use the rangy jab to keep Ward backed up and use combination punching to hurt him whenever possible. Froch has the ability to really hurt Ward but Ward will be the smartest fighter he has faced and won’t just give Froch his chin. But if Froch can catch Ward, then we’ll really see what Ward is made of.

I’m really unsure as to who is going to win this fight.

I’m hoping to see Froch pull through and claim the win but the more I’ve seen of Ward, the more I like. His style isn’t great to watch at times but he’s produced some superb boxing in spurts throughout this competition and displayed a range of different qualities which has seen him progress to the final. He’s a very smart boxer and he knows how to fight on the inside. He does like to throw the jab to miss on purpose, so it allows him to get close and clinch his opponent allowing him to work on the inside. The upper-cut would work perfectly for Froch here.

My heart is saying Carl Froch on this one but my head is going with Andre Ward winning the fight in a similar fashion to Mayweather – Hatton (just without the help of the ring post).

Either way it promises to be a fantastic fight.





Magee KO’d

20 03 2011

Magee: KO'd in 10th

Brian Magee dreams of bringing home a world title were dashed last night in the battle of the southpaws.

After the first five rounds, which were surprisingly even, Lucian Bute showed he is a level above Magee by dropping him in the sixth and seventh before stopping him in the 10th.

So in the end I was pretty close with my prediction but Magee did well to make it to the 10th round. He was put down in the sixth with a sharp left to the body and Magee did well to recover, only be dropped by the same punch again in the seventh. The crowd, and those watching, could sense that the KO was close.

And it came in the 10th (three rounds later than I predicted) as Bute landed with a blow to the head that dropped the Northern Irishmen to his knees, giving the referee no choice but to stop the fight.

In all honesty the result was never in doubt and it was only a matter of time before Bute’s class told, but Magee should take heart from his performance but I stand by my opinion; this sort of level is just beyond Magee.

He is a fine European level champion but the world-class level is out of his reach I’m afraid.

Below is the footage of Magee being KO’d (couldn’t find the English commentary version):

In other British boxing news, Willie Casey was destroyed in the first round by WBA super-bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.

Casey was dropped three times by the fleet-footed champ before the fight was finally waved off. The gulf in class was evident from the start and even though I expected a KO win for Rigondeaux, I didn’t see it coming in the first round.

Below is the footage of Rigondeaux KO of Casey:





Chance of a lifetime for Magee

19 03 2011

Magee: Massive chance

Brian Magee has the opportunity of a lifetime as he goes for Lucian Butes’ IBF Super-Middleweight title tonight in Montreal.

Magee, who holds the European super-middleweight title, will attempt to defeat the highly rated Bute as he tries to bring a world title back to Northern Ireland.

The super-middleweight division is looking quite hot right now with the likes of Carl Froch and Andre Ward holding WBC and WBA titles respectively. Bute, to me, stands alongside them as the divisions best and I can see nothing but a KO victory for hard-hitting Canadian.

No disrespect to Magee, who is a fine champion in his own right, but this sort of level is just a level too high I’m afraid and I believe Magee will be exposed inside 7 rounds.

Magee will have to show plenty of heart and determination to get anything from this fight and if he is to bring back the world title, he’ll have to do it via KO. There is no way the Canadian judges will let him leave with the title if it comes down to the cards, just ask Bernard Hopkins.

But, as I said earlier, I think Bute will win via KO and then hopefully fight the winner of the Super Six in a unification bout, which hopefully will mean a fight with Nottingham’s own Carl Froch.

Who knows, by the end of this year Britain could have its fair share of undisputed world champions if everything goes to plan.

The future is definitely looking bright for British boxing.