Lucian Bute crumbles under pressure as Carl Froch wins five round annihilation

27 May

Alan Dawson – London

Carl Froch silenced his doubters – yet again – as the unfancied Cobra, whose venom was not expected to provide such a sting against the previously unbeaten Lucian Bute, killed off the IBF super middleweight champion’s chances within minutes of their duel at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham on Saturday, May 26. Froch fired in an abundance of shots from all angles before stopping Bute on his feet in round five to become a three-time world champion at 168lbs.

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Dawson’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
10 9 8 9 8

10 10 10
10 10

Official verdict: Froch by way of fifth round TKO.

“It’s still sinking in, the support has been fantastic,” said a euphoric Froch to Sky Sports One. “After the Andre Ward defeat I was deflated but I was beat by the better man. Tonight, I did right. I listened to Rob McCracken and he never gets it wrong. When I listen, I get it right. Tonight, I was switched on, focused. I came to do a job. I was just on it tonight. Let me tell you, [Bute] can punch, I’m elated though, so happy.”

Froch’s performance was dominant but it was the awkward stance of jittery southpaw Bute that appeared to confound Froch early on as the hometown challenger looked crude in comparison to the more refined champion. The Englishman, though, took heart from his ability to land but, more importantly, his ability to hurt Bute as, in the first round Lucian was cronked with a left hook and in the second Lucian had to clinch in order to recover following a number of shots absorbed upstairs.

While much was said pre-fight about Bute’s portside jab, the orthodox lead left from Froch was the most reliable asset of the two. It continuously found the Canadian-Romanian’s nose in the second but he neglected the jab in the third round as he sent an absolute bombardment of blows to Bute’s bonce, establishing a dominant 10-8 round despite scoring no knockdown. Froch was fierce, unrelenting and Bute was vulnerable and wobbled back to his stool after combat had momentarily paused prior to the fourth.

Froch’s legion of supporters were rallied and raucous when Froch abandoned sweet boxing and opted to lunge in wildly – where he surprisingly had far more success than when he tried to box his way toward openings. In the fourth, he again pounded Bute, landing uppercuts and short-range straights. After 12 minutes of fists, Bute was cut by the eyebrow and a stoppage seemed inevitable as Bute failed to handle the strength, the power and the swarm of shots from a battling Englishman.

That stoppage arrived in the fifth… amid peculiar circumstance as Froch pierced Bute’s guard with a punishing shot. Bute required the ropes to prop himself up and the referee sent Froch to a neutral corner. The crowd and promoter Eddie Hearn, however, believed the fight had been stopped and Hearn rushed in to lift Froch aloft despite the referee giving Bute a count which could normally result in a disqualification.

Bute, though, was not allowed to continue. By the count of ten, the referee believed he was not in a fit state to continue and even trainer Stephen Larouche entered the ring with the white towel over his shoulder, ready to pull his ward out of combat.

Considered the underdog even by bookmakers in his home country, Froch – now 29-2-0, 21ko – did the unthinkable by not only defeating Bute, but doing so emphatically, by stoppage, before the fight had even reached the halfway stage.

“He boxed fantastically well,” said head trainer McCracken. “Maybe down the line we can put [the Andre Ward result] right. Froch is a fantastic specimen, he doesn’t gain weight. When he’s [on it] he delivers.

“He’s one of the best boxers we’ve produced on this land.”

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