By Frank Warren
It’s a cross-road in Carl Froch’s career tonight at the Nottingham Arena when he takes on IBF World Super-Middleweight Champion Lucian Bute in a make or break fight.
The Cobra’s got the comfort of fighting at home after being on the road for the last few years and he’s aiming to win a world title for a third time against the tough and unbeaten Bute.
The fight that Bute was looking for was against Showtime’s Super Six World Boxing Classic winner Andre Ward instead of Froch, but Ward wasn’t interested and said that Bute had to beat a top opponent to earn a fight against him which left him to face Froch.
Showtime, who have a multi-fight agreement with Bute, were not interested in televising the fight as Froch lost in the final against Ward, but allowed Bute an out of contract fight against Froch. With HBO also passing on the fight, Epix will be televising in the US.
The Canadian based Romanian hasn’t lost in 30 fights and makes the tenth defence of the title that Joe Calzaghe once held and he must fancy his chances to come over here where he regularly draws crowds of 15,000 back in Quebec.
Strangely, Froch said this week that he found it insulting that Bute should come to his hometown to fight him, I think that he should be grateful that he’s given Froch a chance at a world title since he’s coming off a loss in his last fight.
It’s Bute’s third fight outside of Canada and Romania and he’s come under the same criticism as Calzaghe did for not fighting away from home, but Roy Jones, Bernard Hopkins and James Toney never left America to fight abroad at their peaks and weren’t criticised for it.
Bute has got great footwork and movement with accurate punching, especially to the body, good KO power and will give Froch plenty to think about with his southpaw stance.
At 34, Froch is two years older than the champion and has lost two of his last four fights. A loss to Bute will leave him without many big fights on the horizon.
Although not one of the biggest punchers in the division, one things for sure, you can’t doubt Froch’s heart and chin and he relishes going into battle.
He’s had a grueling stretch of fights, for me his best win was nearly three and half years ago against then unbeaten Jean Pascal for the Vacant WBC title and Pascal later went on to claim the WBC World Light-Heavyweight title.
He was floored and well behind on two scorecards against career middleweight Jermain Taylor before pulling one out of the bag to come back in the final round to stop Taylor with only seconds left.
He had home advantage against unbeaten Andre Dirrell and won on points in a messy affair, but lost next to Mikkel Kessler in Denmark.
The Kessler that Calzaghe beat in November 2007 I believe was a much better fighter than the one Froch faced, although The Viking Warrior came back with a great win last Saturday night when he knocked-out Allan Green with one stunning left hook to claim the WBC World Light-Heavyweight title.
Froch totally outclassed Arthur Abraham, but like Taylor, Abraham was a career middleweight and the war horse Glen Johnson
They’ve both beaten common opponents in Glen Johnson and Brian Magee.
I expect Froch to again be in a tough fight but I think Bute will have too much for the Brit.
If Bute wins then he could be looking at the winner of a potential fight between Ward and former WBC World Light-Heavyweight Champion Chad Dawson next in the 168lb division next.
For Froch, the offer is still there from me for him to face WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly.
The Klitschkos were in London this week promoting their highly recommended biopic movie.
I hold Vitali and Wladimir in high regard, but I’m puzzled, though, at how they have come out saying that they are disgusted that Haye and Chisora are fighting each other.
Vitali claims that he sent a contract to Haye offering a fight in September before Haye confirmed his fight against Chisora. If Vitali was so disgusted by Haye’s behaviour in Germany then why would he make an offer him to fight him?
And had Haye chosen to fight Vitali then that fight would have been sanctioned by the German Boxing Federation (BDB) who I’m certain would have no objections towards it happening on their soil.
Waldimir also commented about the Luxembourg Boxing Federation sanctioning the fight: “The sneaky way they got it done, getting a licence from Luxembourg; it’s disgraceful,” and "I am really surprised that such a thing is happening."
When Wladimir was unhappy with the BDB and some of their rulings he fought three times in Germany on shows he promoted himself under the supervision of an obscure entity called the GBO (German Boxing Organisation). In 2005 and 2006 he fought on Sauerland promotions which was against the BDB as these were supervised by the Austrian Federation. How’s that for support?
It will be interesting to see what the British Boxing Board of controls views are on the revelations this week about Scott Dixon, who was refused a license by the British Boxing Board of Control, was given a license by the BDB to fight in Malta where he is currently awaiting charges for drug importation and distribution.
Also, Greg Sirb, vice president of the Association of Commissions and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, called on the four major boxing governing bodies to stop sanctioning fights in Germany this week.
He says that Former WBC World Heavyweight Champion Oliver McCall was allowed to fight in Germany last week despite being under Medical Suspension from the Mohegan Sun Athletic Commission since November last year because of a serious medical condition.
These are all questions that need to be answered.
Even the Germans want to see David Haye v Dereck Chisora a poll on the tabloid newspaper’s website Bild revealed this week.
German TV broadcaster ARD withdrew from televising the British heavyweights, but are still covering Alexander Povetkin’s WBA World Heavyweight title defence against Hasim Rahman on the card.
Bild asked its readers if they supported the decision and 72 per cent of the 24,366 polled voted overwhelmingly “Nein! I want to see the fight”.
In 2000 he was live on the BBC at prime time, Audley Harrison’s comeback tonight against Ali Adams is strictly off TV with no broadcaster covering his fight.
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