Carl Froch vs. Lucian Bute
Carl Froch delivered an astounding fifth-round knockout of Lucian Bute in Nottingham, England.
The 9,000 strong rooted for their now new IBF world champion Carl Froch (29-2, 21 KO) as he handed now former IBF champ Lucian Bute (30-1, 24 KO) the first loss of his career.
Froch had last lost to WBC Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KO) in December of last year, losing a dominating unanimous decision. Froch looked to make a big statement in a major way against Bute and he did.
Here are some of the reactions on Twitter:
Bute can be broken.— Andre S.O.G. Ward (@andreward) May 26, 2012
Well, what can you say?? Carl fought the right fight by pressing Bute & answering him whenever Bute did land, it worked!!— Andre S.O.G. Ward (@andreward) May 26, 2012
As can be seen there, Ward had a lot to say about his would-be rival Bute. If Ward wasn't keen on fighting Bute before, he certainly isn't now after this loss.
Here's a look back at what happened over the course of this world championship bout between two of boxing's biggest and brightest stars.
Lucian Bute going down against the ropes from a Carl Froch attack
Lucian Bute (30-1, 24 KO) was clearly out-classed. It looked as if maybe he was taking his time to measure Carl Froch (29-2, 21 KO) before diving recklessly in. But playing a game of patience around a British volcano that's ready to erupt can be a game not worth playing.
Bute's chin also comes into question, as he was touched up just too much by Froch. There were signs as early as Round 3 that Froch had dented Bute's chin.
The Canadian warrior was wobbly, but he did manage to recover in Round 4 only to end up in an even worse-looking predicament by the end of the round. Then in Round 5, he got caught right, was rocked horribly in a brilliant Froch flurry, and the rest was history.
Performance Grade: D-
Carl Froch performing a rare jab (for this fight) against Lucian Bute
Carl Froch (29-2, 21 KO) was brilliant. The first thing to notice is how perfect his fight was. He didn't come in too recklessly, but came in with the right amount of disturbance to disrupt any of his opponent's plans.
Lucian Bute (30-1, 24 KO) did not have any of the precious time he's so accustomed to having against his opposition. Froch came in with flurries and was met with very few left-hand counters from Bute.
Even when Bute would try to get off first, the 34-year-old Brit would deliver well-timed counters against the faster and more athletic Bute. Froch had him wobbled in Rounds 3 through 5, and the final round finish was spine-tingling.
Bute's head violently snapping over the rope was virtual decapitation. Froch, a two-time former WBC champion, is back with this wonderful performance.
Performance Grade: A+
Lucian Bute needs a big comeback. He'll likely take a warm-up fight against a journeyman while he goes back to the drawing board to exact revenge in their contracted rematch in Bute's native Montreal, Canada.
If Bute decides to abandon a Froch bout or wishes to have a tougher-than-expected interim bout, Andre Dirrell (20-1, 14 KO) is available and has shown interest.
Dirrell is coming off a second-round stoppage of Darryl Cunningham, but that's his only fight in two years. With Bute coming off a loss, a fight with Dirrell on neutral soil sounds like a great crossroads battle.
Carl Froch has a contracted rematch with former champ Lucian Bute in Montreal. However, Froch could take an interim bout.
If an interim bout occurs, or if the new IBF super middleweight champ decides to wait until after dealing with Bute in the rematch, a rematch against Mikkel Kessler (45-2, 34 KO) to avenge his first loss would be an excellent choice.
Froch and Kessler delivered an award-worthy performance in their first close battle. Andre Dirrell (20-1, 14 KO) could also use a rematch. Froch defeated him by split decision in a controversial victory in '09.
Then there's a potential rematch at light heavyweight against Jean Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KO) if Pascal defeats Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19 KO) in August.
The ultimate goal would eventually be a rematch with current super middleweight king Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KO). Though Froch was beaten badly in their first match this past December, he could learn some things to bring to the rematch.