Grant Rants

Bute vs Froch II? Ooookay….

- July 9th, 2012

Greetings fight freaks!

So Quebec resident and former IBF super middle weight champ Lucien Bute has come out of hibernation after the catastrophic, title loosing defeat to Britain’s Carl Froch in May, to talk about his plans for the future — and to the surprise of many, he wants a rematch.

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Carl Froch raises his hand after defeating Canada's Lucian Bute in May. Bute says he wants his contract rematch with Froch next year.

See, in the fight game, when a bout is as one sided as Bute vs. Froch was, calls for a rematch are usually muted. The fight wasn’t close. Bute wasn’t really in it from the second round to the fifth when the bout was stopped. Bute, who fought Froch with his hands slung low and without much of an offense, got smashed. By the final round, he was blocking Froch’s power shots with his face, and his head was bouncing around like a speed bag.

It was one of Froch’s most ferocious and dominating performances that perhaps exposed Bute for being what his harshest critics said he was – a paper champion.

Until recently, the top super middle weights in the world were tied up in a very long, drawn out Showtime sponsored winner-take-all tournament to determine the top champion. Froch was among the elite group fighting in the tournament, eventually won by American Andre Ward (who beat Froch in the final.) But while the best of the best were fighting it out, Bute was on the outside looking in. Although one of the major title holders in the division, he was oddly left out of the tournament.

So while Froch, Ward and others were in the pressure cooker, Bute was boxing his way through the B-list, unable to really fight top flight competition until he faced Glen Johnson, who at the time was recently eliminated by Froch from the tournament.  Bute handled Johnson, who gave Froch a hard 12 rounds, with relative ease, suggesting that despite the critics, the Romanian-born champion was the real deal. When the tournament ended, it was inevitable that Bute would begin to face the rest of the world’s best super middle weights.

Then came the fight with Froch. The undefeated Bute, who normally fights before frothing crowds in Quebec, went across the pond to Froch’s home town of Nottingham, and was beaten in as a decisive manner as he could have been. The fight was so lopsided, it was hard to imagine Bute pressing for the rematch option in the fight contract. Although Froch is contractually obligated to fight the rematch if Bute wants it, he appears to have little interest in it. There are simply bigger money fights for him out there. The interest, from a fan and money point of view, in a rematch is low.

For Bute though, the desire is obvious. He was an undefeated champion who was humiliated in his only loss, a loss that stripped him of his title. So he wants another chance a chance to redeem himself in a way that few other sports ever provide. If he wins, it would be epic. If he looses, his career will have suffered a crippling body blow.

In his press conference last week, Bute talked about this defeat and why he wants another crack at Carl Froch. They’ll each fight other bouts this year, and dance together again in May 2013 in Montreal.

“That was not the real Lucian Bute in that Nottingham ring last May le 26th.  I spent the last few weeks reflecting about what went wrong, what happened, and the only thing that is crystal clear in my mind is that I want my rematch with Carl Froch as soon as possible,” Bute said. “I am convinced the loss was due to critical errors on my part and that I will beat him.”

I don’t want to rule anything out, but at the same time, it’s hard to know what Bute could change without radically reinventing his fighting style. While he was able to slip some of Froch’s punches he was unable to fire back counter punches when he did. Nor he could slip enough of the incoming fire. Froch attacked in combinations, so if he missed punches one or two, he landed shots three, four and five. Also absent was Bute’s jab, and the hand speed that usually paralyses most other fighters.

Still, Bute seems to think he knows where to start rethinking his approach.

“I did not use my primary weapons of speed and my jab at all during the fight.  I fought Carl Froch`s fight instead of dictating the pace and forcing him to fight my fight,” he said. “It was a bad night for me in Nottingham.  A nightmare, really.  I lost my IBF belt, my perfect record and I suffered a hard loss.”

Even so, Bute is a class act and wasn’t sugar coating his defeat. Froch, he said, deserved the victory.

” I do not want to take anything away from Carl Froch`s accomplishment.  He was the better man that night.  He was hungrier and more motivated and he won.  But now I have to look ahead.  My promoter Jean Bedard, my coach Stephan Larouche and I have had numerous serious discussions and we have established a plan that I am very comfortable with.  In the next two fights I will erase the bad memory of May 26th from my mind and from the minds of my fans.”

 

Categories: boxing, News

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