Boxing


Froch vs Bute: Keys to Victory, Four to Explore, Official Prediction

by Vivek Wallace: In just a few hours the world of Boxing will get a chance to see two of the best super middleweights in the world go toe to toe as the U.K.'s Carl Froch (28-2, 20KO's) takes on Romanian (by way of Canada) Lucian Bute (34-0, 30KO's) in Nottingham. The fight many fight fans wanted to see was Bute against Andre Ward, however, politics prevailed and instead we find ourselves on the brink of seeing the next best thing. As we get ready for battle, we take a quick look at "Keys to Victory", "Four to Explore", and an "Official Prediction":

CARL FROCH (KEYS TO VICTORY)

For Carl Froch, the keys to victory will be very interesting, considering that he's not only facing a very clever southpaw, but also one who has power in both hands and a good level of skill to combine with it. Froch's entire gameplan will both start and end with the jab. There's only two ways to keep a southpaw honest, and that's a solid jab, and a good right hand. In the past we've seen Froch deliver both, but the consistency in which he has done it isn't always there. Froch will need to keep the pressure on, as Librado Andrade proved to us in the initial showdown that Bute can be greatly troubled with pressure..

Froch will need to keep Bute on his backfoot. Not only to keep him off balance, but also to keep the home crowd roaring, which, as we know and have seen in the past, will help influence the judges at the end of the night. If Froch can stick the jab out and keep the pressure on, turning this into an uncomfortable dogfight for the Canadian, look for him to get the close nod by the end of the night.

LUCIAN BUTE (KEYS TO VICTORY)

For Lucian Bute, things will be a bit more difficult. Although southpaws traditionally give orthodox fighters a few problems, Bute will have the task of chasing down a very crafty orthodox fighter. One who knows his way around the ring quite well. Bute has very good power in both hands, and a strong set of skills, so look for him to try to control the action some well placed 'stingers' to keep Froch honest when the 'Cobra' tries to attack. One of the keys to victory for Froch is to keep the pressure on, but for the methodical Bute, the exact opposite bodes well.

Bute will need to press the action in spurts, but spend more time letting the often reckless Froch come after him, paving the way to precious opportunities to land well placed, flush shots that will do great damage and take a toll. If Bute can adjust to the pressure and awkward style of Froch, this could be an easier night for him than many seem to believe, and it will also result in a "W".

FOUR TO EXPLORE (CRITICAL GAME CHANGERS TO WATCH)

Reach Out or Step In?: One of the more critical attributes in a fight is typically the reach of a fighter. In this case, Bute holds a 72inch span, while the rangy Froch is listed at roughly 75inches. 3 inches doesn't sound like a lot, but when the busier fighter holds it, more often than not, it means he'll feel more comfortable attacking, because he knows he has more range. This could play right into the hand of the swift and powerful Bute. It'll be interesting to see if Froch can be effective with his reach, or not. If Bute can nullify it early, he will but himself in a great position to do damage late.

Experience the Best Teacher?: Lucian Bute is the better skills boxer, but Froch comes into this fight with much greater experience. The most established name on Bute's resume is Glen Johnson. It's common knowledge that he handled Glen Johnson better than Carl Froch did, but styles make fights and Froch defeated a Glen Johnson who was coming in off a high after stopping Allan Green. To date, Froch has faced the best of the best, and his only decisive lost was to Andre Ward, as many would agree the Kessler decision was fair, but debatable to some. Will Froch's great experience be the key factor at the end of the night, or will it not matter?

Sprint or Marathon?: In an era of the sport that often places great emphasis on the KO, it's intriguing to know that Bute has stopped 80% of his competition within the distance. Froch has a solid beard, but can be hurt. It all sets an interesting tone for the bout, but perhaps what's even more intriguing is the fact that Bute hasn't gone the distance but once (Glen Johnson) since 2008. We saw this work against Pavlik against Hopkins, and we saw this work against many others in the past. What happens if Froch is tougher than leather and keeps a steady pace? Is Bute conditioned enough to get the nod over 12 against a man who isn't as easy to hit as Glen Johnson was?

No Place Like Home: If the weigh-in was any indicator, Bute will have a solid base of fans rooting him on, but not the same as the base we should expect for Froch. Against Andrade in the first fight Bute got the hometown nod, and beyond that, considering his large fan base in Quebec, it's been literally impossible to see him face any opponent without being the clear cut favorite. That all changes when he enters the ring in Nottingham. Froch has been very particular about fighting at home, and when you consider the Dirrell fight controversy, coupled with the fact that he remains undefeated on his home turf, the plot really thickens. Does Bute have what it takes to unseat the hometown hero? Or is he simply the next in line to fall short?

OFFICIAL PREDICTION & UPSET BAROMETER (RANGE 1 - 5)

When the bell rings tomorrow I think fight fans will get their dollars worth! Froch is a crafty competitor who comes to fight; yet Bute is always prepared and doesn't want to taste defeat. Fight fans can expect the early rounds to be hotly contested, with a bit of ebbs and flows, and a great deal of chess being played. But after that, roughly around the 3rd round, you can expect things to open up a bit, with both men coming out of their shells and trying to seize the moment. Froch is a very tough fighter but expect the body work of Bute to slow him down late in the fight, and don't be surprised if he gets wobbled. To the flipside, we've seen Bute stunned by lesser punchers, and you can expect Froch to hurt the Canadian at some point as well.

Both men will weather the storm and make it a close battle, but in the end, one can expect another close, somewhat (to some fans) controversial call. Bute will do enough in the minds of many fight fans to get the nod, but anything less than a stoppage will undoubtedly result in a close win for Froch, as the man from Nottingham will do more than enough to keep the favor of a trio of judges judging a fight in his hometown. The "O" will go, despite those who say NO!

(FROCH via SPLIT DECISION - UPSET BAROMETER PEAKS AT A 4.0 - IF BUTE LANDS A KNOCK DOWN, HE COULD SHIFT THE TIDE TOTALLY)


(Vivek "Vito" Wallace can be reached at vivekwallace@ymail.com, Youtube (Vivek Wallace Boxing Channel), Twitter (VivekWallace747), Skype (Vito-Boxing), and FaceBook).

Article posted on 25.05.2012



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