Blogs & Opinion


Tight margins

Froch must get close to Bute and utilise crowd's fervour, says Jim

Jim Watt Posted 24th May 2012 view comments

I doubt this Saturday's match with Lucian Bute will be Carl Froch's last shot at the big time.

Froch may be nearly 35 years of age but he has a terrific reputation, which was boosted even further by his performances in the recent Super Six tournament.

A British fighter has never gone through the campaign that Froch has over the last couple of years; the Cobra has fought the best super-middleweights in the division, beaten most of them, and established himself as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

Up close and personal: Froch (L) cannot let Bute dictate matters from afar

Up close and personal: Froch (L) cannot let Bute dictate matters from afar

There will still be elite fights out there for Froch should he lose this weekend, even if they are not for the title; a potential re-match with Mikkel Kessler springs to mind and that would be very well received.

But you just wonder whether Carl would still have the desire to continue if he came up just short against the reigning and unbeaten IBF champion.

Froch has this terrific quality to not accept defeat and is always prepared to go into the trenches.

Jim Watt
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
Lucian Bute v Carl Froch

IBF Super-Middleweight Title
10pm, Sat, Sky Sports 1 HD
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

He would have lost to Bute, Andre Ward and Kessler - three career-defining fights - and while his reputation may not be dented, his legacy might be.

Different

That's why Froch will be desperate to win this bout, which will be a very different challenge to the one posed by Ward in December, when he was relieved of his WBC strap.

Ward was very good at getting up close and had very good upper-body movement; he was a bit too quick and a bit too good for Carl.

Bute, meanwhile, is a highly-skilled southpaw, something that is always hard to contend with, while as a big super-middleweight, he may also have the physical advantage on the night.

Bute is a stand-up boxer so Froch may be able to trade jabs with him and get in close - and he will have to do if he wants to beat a man who will be determined to fight at long range.

Carl cannot let Bute dictate the pace and hit him with his terrific left hook and left hands to the body, while there can be no repeat of the poorly-timed, forced shots that he used against Ward.

However, people often forget that Froch is a good boxer with neat skills and an awkward style and those traits, coupled with his heart, will give him a real chance.

Calibre

Froch is also proven at the top level, while Bute has been fighting guys in the second tier. Bute has never needed to dig deep to pull out a win as he has been better than everyone he has boxed, and we still don't know how he will deal with someone of Froch's calibre.

Pus, the fact that this fight is being held in his hometown of Nottingham will be a massive confidence boost for Carl; I had most of my fights at home and it is a terrific feeling.

I don't think Bute will be adversely affected by the crowd but it will certainly be an advantage for Carl. He has this terrific quality to not accept defeat and is always prepared to go into the trenches. With a partisan crowd cheering him on, that desire will magnify even further and may tip the fight in his favour.

The Nottingham audience are likely to be on their feet screaming for every punch that Carl throws, too, while if Bute lands a shot there might be no reaction. That could also affect the judges reading of the fight, giving Froch fans another reason to be optimistic.

Carl could not have chosen a tougher opponent to face after his defeat to Ward; Bute is quicker than the Cobra and considering the hard career that Froch has had, the champion deserves to head into this fight as the slight favourite.

I expect Carl to be hit by a flurry of early shots early on but, if he bites hard on the gum shield, stays close and uses the crowd well, I'd like to think he can pull out a result.

back to top

Other Boxing Experts:

Latest Posts in Boxing:

Johnny Nelson

In awe of Manny

Johnny Nelson spent the day with Manny Pacquiao and found out a different side to the legendary fighter....

Latest News RSS feeds

Pacquiao and Mayweather meet

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr met in person for the first time at a basketball game on Tuesday.

Nelson: In awe of Manny

Johnny Nelson spent the day with Manny Pacquiao and was left convinced he is up there with the very best.

Manny: Floyd fight almost certain

Manny Pacquiao is 80 per cent certain Floyd Mayweather will agree to fight him on May 2 - but warns it is now or never.

Gavin signs up with Matchroom

British welterweight champion Frankie Gavin is targeting Kell Brook's world title after joining Eddie Hearn's Matchroom stable.

New Sky mentors join Taylor

Sky Sports Living for Sport Ambassador Katie Taylor will be joined by a host of new athlete mentors in Ireland.

Features

Ringside Toe 2 Toe: We hear from Tyson Fury, David Price, Scott Quigg and Nigel Benn...

Ringside Toe 2 Toe: We hear from Tyson Fury, David Price, Scott Quigg and Nigel Benn...

Welcome to the Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast, an online offering from skysports.com bringing you the latest news and views from the world of boxing.

Bernard Hopkins turns 50 this week – here are his defining moments in the ring

Bernard Hopkins turns 50 this week – here are his defining moments in the ring

Among the elite of in-ring greats, Bernard Hopkins stands in a realm of his own on account of his longevity.

Boxing: Jack Bateson explains how he stays in peak condition ahead of a fight

Boxing: Jack Bateson explains how he stays in peak condition ahead of a fight

As many across Britain struggle to keep up their New Year’s resolutions to get in shape, GB boxer Jack Bateson revealed how he keeps the weight off in the run up to a fight.