After being outclassed by Andre Ward in the final of the Super Six super-middleweight tournament last December, big questions were asked about what the 34-year-old Carl Froch had left in the tank.
Coming in to Saturday’s fight with Lucien Bute (32), Nottingham-based Froch was the 17/10 underdog. Few pundits gave him much of a chance of beating the unbeaten Bute.
The Romanian-born, Canada-based Bute was 30-0 and had held the IBF super-middleweight belt since stopping Alejandro Berrio in October of 2007. He defended the belt nine times before getting in to the ring with Froch, with seven of those wins coming by KO. Bute oozed class and confidence during his reign and was believed to be too classy and too fast for the predictable and ponderous Froch.
It turns out Bute was made to look a lot better than he was believed to be by taking on second-tier opponents on his own turf. Bute isn’t a poor fighter by any means but Froch made him look like one and the question marks now sit over the former champion’s future in the ring.
“Personally, I don’t think Bute will want the rematch because as a fighter, I looked into his eyes and after round three I saw something drain from him. Something only a fighter can see. I don’t think he’s going to want to fight again, let alone fight me again. Honestly,” assessed a rather pleased Froch after the fight.
Froch was simply too strong, he hit too hard and the speed advantage which Bute was predicted to enjoy simply didn’t exist once the bell rang. If anything, the Romanian was unable to deal with the speed of Froch’s attacks.
For too long Carl Froch lived in the shadow of Joe Calzaghe and while it’s a tough case to make that Froch would have beaten the Welshman had they met in the ring, there is a growing case to make for him for being the greater fighter.
Froch has never avoided anyone and gets in the ring to put on a show. Every time. Not to dance around and avoid fighting but to get in there and test his chin, his heart, his will to win. And, as fight fans that’s what the Paddy Power Blog likes to see.
By beating Bute Froch has killed off any thoughts of retirement and has launched himself right back up the pound-for-pound ratings, opening up the door for a big money rematch with Mikkel Kessler.
Carl Froch upset the odds to beat Lucien Bute and win his third world title. He put in arguably the best performance of his career. He proved once again that he is prepared to get in to the ring with anyone, no matter how feared they might be. And he has a super hot girlfriend.
For these reasons and many more, Carl Froch, we have a mancrush on you.