Boxing


Carl ‘The Cobra” Froch bludgeoned Lucian Bute in vicious fashion!

by Geoffrey Ciani - The Super Six Boxing Classic brought a lot of positive attention to the 168 pound weight class. Not only were the participants of this historically obscure division receiving praise and recognition, but so too were other members of the division. In particular, Lucian Bute was greatly benefited from the tournament. While the “super six” (and their subsequent replacements) were all fighting top notch opposition in one grueling contest after another, Bute was putting his skills on display against mediocre completion and undeserving title challengers. Even still, many observers inexplicably viewed Bute as the best in the division, despite the fact he never beat an elite level super middleweight.

Bute finally decided to step it up when he traveled all the way to Nottingham to take on Carl “The Cobra” Froch. From Team Bute’s perspective, this seemed like a safe move because even though Froch is a proven commodity at 168, he was coming off a one-sided loss at the hands of Andre Ward in the Super Six Final. It was a typical move for Bute who all too often targeted fighters who were coming off a low note. Although this was a gamble, and one Bute does deserve credit for taking, it was a strategic gamble because Bute was guaranteed a return bout in the comfortable confines of Canada in the event Froch should beat him. Now that the dust has settled and Froch thoroughly outclassed Bute, it is extremely unlikely that a rematch will ever even take place. The Cobra was simply that dominant and overwhelming in his performance!

The pivotal moment in the fight happened in round three. Up until that point the fight was relatively close with Froch up 20-18 due to the fact he was simply outhustling Bute and landing the cleaner crisper shots. Just over one minute into the third round, Bute doubled up his jab and followed it up with a crushing straight left that momentarily backed Froch up. This apparently angered The Cobra, however, who fired back with a left hook to the body followed by a double hook upstairs. The fight was on and this was the beginning of the end! Bute launched his hands enthusiastically into the air as if to say, “Bring it Carl!” In retrospect, this may have been an ill-advised move by Bute because The Cobra obliged, and “bring it” he did! Froch proceeded to immediately bully Bute into the corner where he unleashed a vicious combination assault. Bute was visibly hurt! With just over one minute left in the round, Froch again trapped Bute against the ropes and hurt him with each and every single shot he landed—and he landed many with both hands! It would ultimately be a 10-8 round for Froch, who finished the stanza strongly! In fact Bute looked as weary and uncomfortable as he had in the final seconds of his first bout with Librado Andrade.

In round four Froch fought with supreme intelligence. Instead of coming out and going for the kill against his wounded foe, The Cobra was as cool as an assassin, calmly and silently stalking his unsuspecting prey with the utmost confidence. Froch measured his victim with veteran-like poise, exhibiting the fact that all of the experience he received enduring the Super Six had paid off. He waited, waited, found his openings, and fired precise power shots that rocked Bute to his very foundation. Lucian did manage to land a decent left, and to his credit, he was trying his best. It is just that his best was no match for Froch. It was a patient round from The Cobra who wisely picked his shots and did not engage recklessly. As the fourth progressed, Bute just could not keep Carl off of him. Froch had Bute badly hurt once again to conclude the fourth, as he landed thudding solid blows with Bute helplessly pinned back against the ropes.

Froch came out more aggressively to start the fifth. He knew his foe was wounded. Froch can sense that not only was Bute physically badly hurt, but more importantly that he was mentally a defeated man. Like a consummate professional, Froch dissected Bute with surgical like precision. A big right hand by Froch violently snapped Bute’s head flinging back, as the Canadian once again found himself with his back hopelessly pressed against the ropes. Froch unleashed a furious combination that ended with three disturbingly flush punches that caused Bute to fall in utter submission. That was it. It was over. Fans had long wondered what would happen when Bute finally stepped up in class, and now they have their answer. Froch was too much for Bute in every way, shape, and form!

It was a brilliant effort by Froch who has resurrected his career from the brink of obscurity following his one-sided loss to Ward at age 34. Froch, however, refused to go quietly into the night! In a situation where he had fought seven fights in a row against elite level boxers, nobody would have blamed The Cobra for taking an easy and well deserved tune-up in his hometown. The Cobra would have none of that! It is simply not a part of his makeup as a person to take a step backwards. After losing to Ward in the Super Six Final, Froch then jumped right back into the deep waters to take on a man who was widely viewed as the second best super middleweight in the world. Froch has been on an amazing run that culminated in this sensational career defining victory!

It would be surprising to see Bute exercise his rematch clause given the type of devastating loss he just suffered at the hands of Froch. Both fighters still have options, however, and the result of this contest has implications that probably extend beyond what is next for each boxer. Now that Bute was decimated by Froch, Andre Ward no longer has any unfinished business at 168. This means he can now likely move up and face Chad Dawson at a full-fledged 175 pounds for the light heavyweight championship. Froch will be able to pick and choose from a wide variety of options, and the one I like best for him would be to have a rematch with Mikkel Kessler, who just stopped Allan Green in an entertaining scrap last week. For Bute it would probably be wise to take a tune up fight, and then perhaps gun for a rematch against a former opponent, someone like Brian Magee perhaps.

At the end of the day it was a magnificent performance by Carl Froch, and he deserves a great deal of credit for consistently fighting the best one fight after another. He truly does symbolize a long gone era where fighters actually wanted to fight the best, time in and time out. He is undoubtedly one of the few boxers who truly does personify what it means to be an overachiever. He may not have the skills of a Mayweather, or even an Andre Ward, but his sheer will and determination have been something that boxing fans from all over the globe can embrace and admire.

The Cobra is truly one of a kind!

***

ciani@eastsideboxing.com

Article posted on 27.05.2012



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