By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
CARL FROCH has delivered a verbal KO to those writing off his chances of becoming a three-time world champion tonight.
Froch is the underdog as he bids to relieve Lucian Bute of his IBF world super-middleweight title at Nottingham’s Capital FM Arena.
But ‘The Cobra’ hit back: “The bookies don’t know f*** all! The same bookmakers who don’t give me a chance in this fight all had Arthur Abraham to beat me – I rest my case.”
Froch was referring to his unanimous points win over Abraham to lift the vacant WBC title in November 2010.
Whatever Froch says there are doubts he can bounce back from his defeat to Andre Ward in the final of the Super Six series in December.
Many thought Froch, who has lost just two of his 30 professional fights, may have hung up his gloves after that.
But he said: “I did not want to go out on a low like that. I just didn’t want to look back on my fantastic career and think that it all ended with that s**t fight in Atlantic City.
“I just was not myself for the Ward fight. It was the end of a long tournament and I just wanted to get it all over with and get home.”
He is promising a vastly improved display against 32-year-old Bute. “If I can’t get up for an IBF title challenge, then I’m never going to fight,” he said.
“I am fighting in my home town of Nottingham in front of a capacity crowd and that is the icing on the cake for me.
“I know I am coming off the back of a defeat, but when the best fighters in the world are meeting, they beat each other.
“You can be protected in boxing by the opponents chosen for you and go through your career unbeaten – but you have no legacy.
“If the best fighters meet their best opponents 10 times, the score is going to be 5-5 or 6-4 – but it is never going to be 10-0.”
Froch, 34, has twice held the WBC title and said: “I have more than enough motivation because I am fighting for my legacy to become a three-time world champion.”
Romanian-born Canadian Bute has won all of his 30 pro fights and is ready for the hostility of the 9000 crowd.
“I know what to expect from them and I am ready for it,” he said. “But I can promise that I will silence them when I beat their hero.”
PREDICTION: Champ Bute will be extremely tough to beat, but I’m taking Froch to take his title on points.