Showdown in Nottingham: Lucian Bute vs. Carl Froch
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (May 23, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
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Carl Froch
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing: Lucian Bute (30-0, 24 KOs) puts his IBF title, and unbeaten record on the line May 26 when he faces former two-time titleholder Carl Froch (28-2, 20 KOs) at the Capital FM Arena, in Nottingham , England . A Bute win is a call out to top dog Andre Ward. If Froch, fighting in his hometown for the first time since 2009 is victorious, many lucrative rematches could be on the horizon.

Romanian Bute is the mystery man of the 168-pound division. His lack of participation in the Super Six tournament was never adequately explained. Therefore, his resume comes up short when measured against Froch. The Nottingham native's last seven opponents have been either top-ranked or former world champions. Only Ward defeated him decisively.

Froch believes that Bute is overrated.

“I promise that I’m going to beat Bute ,” Froch said last week during a conference call with reporters. “He’s coming over here. He’s going to get beat. You can’t name (many) names on Bute ’s resume.”

Bute, 32, easily defeated aging Glen Johnson last year. Though taller than Froch by an inch, his arms are shorter. His southpaw style is difficult to break. His favorite punch is a short, left uppercut. The punch is dangerous (just ask former victim Jesse Brinkley). His bodywork is also impressive. Bute likes to counterpunch off his opponents jab. His ability to move around the ring could prove to be problematical for Froch. Bute smiled when informed of Froch’s criticism.

“I’m not surprised that he said that. He keeps saying bad stuff all the time, “said Bute . “When he comes to fight he likes to do that kind of comment, but I know who I am.”

Froch, 34, can box but prefers to brawl. His jab is long and accurate. His right hand carries some lethal pop. His defense is average, but his persistence is not. Froch can be awkward but still effective. His conditioning is first-rate. Froch's pressure could make Bute make a mistake. A faster fighter will always give "The Cobra" problems.

Does Froch have the tools to nullify Bute ’s southpaw style? His right hand will need to find Bute ’s chin early. His lack of in-fighting skills could hurt him.

Bute is the better athlete but Froch has the heart of a champion. His chin is hard to dent. Librardo Andrade had Bute down and almost out four years ago.  

During a recent phone conversation, WBC Emeritus champion Andre Ward gave this writer his opinion of the fight.

“It’s a pick ‘em fight, “said Ward. “I can see Carl Froch imposing his will and breaking Bute . I see Bute doing one or two things. He could play it safe and box, or I wouldn’t be surprised if he caught Froch.”

Bute is the more skilled fighter, but Froch might be more determined. Unless Bute gets nailed with a heavy punch, look for the fight to go the distance with Bute winning by decision
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