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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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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