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 Last update:  5/25/2012       Read more by Thomas Gerbasi         
   
Carl "The Cobra" Froch Ė Reclaiming His Birthright
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By Thomas Gerbasi

There are few certainties in sports, but you can always be pretty sure that the Dominican Republic will produce major league shortstops, New York City will deliver top-notch point guards, and Pennsylvania will make quarterbacks.

Another surefire bet is that Europe, particularly England, will make some of the best 168-pound fighters in the world. Joe Calzaghe, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Robin Reid, Stevie Collins, Sven Ottke and Richie Woodhall are just a few of the names that have graced the division over the years, and when all is said and done, you can expect to see the name of Nottingham, Englandís Carl Froch featured prominently among that group.

Winner of 28 of his 30 pro bouts, Froch is a two-time WBC super middleweight champion, a finalist in the Super Six 168-pound tournament, and on his way to a third title in his division should he beat longtime IBF titleholder Lucian Bute this Saturday in Nottingham Arena.†

The bout will air live on premium network EPIX (Saturday, 6PM ET/3PM PT), as well as on its website (EpixHD.com) and on the jumbotron above Times Square in New York City.

ďThis is a great matchup,Ē said Froch on a recent media teleconference.† ďItís a great fight, and anybody can win it.† I feel Iím going to win the fight, I really do.† I promise that Iím going to beat Bute.† Heís not mixed with my sort of level before and I just think heís got a mountain to climb.† He might shock everybody.† You never know.† But Iím very, very confident. Heís coming over here; heís going to get beat.† Iím going to be IBF champ and Iím going to do everything I can to make sure I win that belt.Ē

Given his aforementioned accomplishments, itís been no surprise that the 34-year old has never lacked for confidence. He is coming off the worst loss of his pro career in the Super Six final against Andre Ward (a bout a lot closer on the scorecards than it was in reality) last December, but you wouldnít know it by his bluster heading into the Bute bout.

And frankly, he should be confident. Heís fighting in his hometown for the first time since his 2009 win over then-unbeaten Andre Dirrell, and despite losing to Ward, fighting someone who has long been seen as perhaps the best super middleweight in the game (and certainly the best one not in the Super Six tourney) is almost as much of a prize as he would have gotten if he won the fight.†

ďIím switched on,Ē said Froch. ďIím ready.† And Iím not licking my wounds.† Iím not sulking.† Iím not feeling sorry for myself because I lost my last fight.† Iím really not.† Iím taking confidence from that loss.† I know where I went wrong and I know what I need to do to put it right.† And if I can beat Lucian Bute Iím going to be a three-time world champion.† Thatís the kind of stuff legends are made of.Ē

Well, maybe not legends, but letís just say that puts Froch on the right track. In fact, while Ward is widely considered to have earned his spot atop the 168-pound pecking order, no one in the division has faced the level of competition the Brit has consistently. He owns wins over Reid, Jean Pascal, Jermain Taylor, Dirrell, Arthur Abraham, and Glen Johnson, with his only losses coming to Mikkel Kessler and Ward. He acknowledges both defeats and his conquerors, but that doesnít mean he accepts them.

ďThe Ward loss was very frustrating,Ē he said. ďIt was one fight that was on the buildup I knew it was going to be a hard nightís work.† I knew it was tricky.† I knew it was a spoiler.† I know what he does.† What he does, he does well. I know where I went wrong.† But again, it wasnít a loss where I go back to the drawing board and say I donít belong at this level, Iím not good enough.† You know, ĎIím not a very good fighter, itís time to retire.í† It wasnít one of those losses.† I couldíve won the fight.† I mean, wouldíve, shouldíve and couldíve - and I got beat fair and square by the better guy on the night.† But what Iím saying is it wasnít meant for me and you know it didnít kill my confidence, it really didnít.† I look to Ward what a great fighter he is and I came very close to anyone else has come to beating him.† It was a close fight.Ē

It was also the type of fight Montrealís Bute has never been in before. Sure, the 32-year old southpawís record is perfect at 30-0, but beating Johnson, Jean-Paul Mendy, Brian Magee, Librado Andrade, Jesse Brinkley, and Edison Miranda doesnít exactly compare to Frochís body of work. ďThe CobraĒ agrees.

ďI donít think Bute is as good as Ward and Iím not sure if heís as good as Kessler or Andre Dirrell or Jermain Taylor,Ē he said. ďI really donít because heís only fought Brian Magee and Glen Johnson.Ē

Heís right, but despite his level of competition, Bute is a talented fighter who has earned his title and his place in the division hierarchy. But he will never be accepted as the true king of the division until he starts beating the men who already proved themselves in the Super Six, namely Froch, Ward, and Kessler (who returned to action last week after a nearly one year layoff with a big knockout of Allan Green). Maybe thatís why the Romanian-born Bute decided to travel to England and Frochís backyard to defend his title in front of a hostile crowd, while Ward sits and waits, possibly for a September meeting with light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson. Thatís an intriguing matchup, but not one that whets the appetite like Ward vs. Bute.

But Frochís looking to spoil that dream fight, just like Nigel Benn scuttled Gerald McClellanís plan for superstardom in their tragic 1995 bout and Joe Calzaghe did the same to unbeaten Olympian Jeff Lacy in 2006. Thereís just something about a battliní Brit defending his home turf in front of thousands of screaming and chanting fans.

ďItís not just the noise,Ē said Froch. ďItís the feelings, the vibrations. You can feel the noise. You canít just hear it. Itís deafening in the arena. I mean I know heís fighting in front of 17,000 or whatever it is in the Bell Centre (in Montreal), but theyíre a very reserved crowd that sort of sit there and behave and donít make much noise. The atmosphere in the Nottingham Arena, heís not going to be ready for that.Ē

And Froch expects that Bute wonít be ready for his punches either. The way he sees it, that belt belongs to him. Itís his birthright. And heís going to attempt to take it by any means necessary.

Tags: Carl Froch , Lucian Bute , Bute-Froch , Bute vs Froch



 User Comments and Feedback (must register to comment)

comment by tesholama, on 05-26-2012
and Otke too?

comment by PrinceNaz88, on 05-25-2012
Calzaghe was born in England to be fair. But the article should obviously say UK..

comment by ghost deini, on 05-25-2012
[QUOTE=Rapid Counter]Calzaghe is Welsh and Collins is Irish.[/QUOTE] true he should of said UK not just England these bloody yanks never get it right lol can't freaking wait for this fight come on Carl do us proud son :boxing: WAR COBRA!!!!!!

comment by Control-, on 05-25-2012
lol "it was a close fight" :lol1:

comment by Uncle Rodge, on 05-25-2012
Ole ole ole ole, Carl Froch ~ Carl Froch!!! :boxing: I will need sedating if I get any more excited about this fight.

Post A Comment/View More User Comments (6) 

   
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