By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — Carl Froch figures that if defeats Andre Ward in Showtime’s “Super Six World Boxing Classic” final he’ll battle Lucian Bute in his next fight to completely determine super middleweight supremacy.
“That’s what it’s looking like, the winner of this tournament will be immediately matched up with the IBF champion, Lucian Bute,” Froch said. “And that’s fair enough, because that would then be a unification fight. That would be massive. So it’s not wrong to assume that’s what Ken Hershman from Showtime’s got up his sleeve, because he signed Bute.”
England’s Froch (28-1, 20 KOs) obviously believes he’ll become the first professional fighter to beat Ward (24-0, 13 KOs) when they meet Oct. 29 in Atlantic City for Froch’s WBC and Ward’s WBA 168-pound titles. Froch also predicted Bute (29-0, 24 KOs) will out-point Johnson (51-15-2, 35 KOs) when they square off a week later, Nov. 5, in either Montreal or Quebec City.
Bute’s fight against Johnson will be the second of a three-fight deal he signed with Showtime last year, presumably to eventually face the ‘Super Six’ winner. Froch has gone 3-1 in the two-year tournament, including a majority decision victory over Johnson on June 4 in Atlantic City.
Bute was born and raised in Romania, but has become a huge draw in and around Montreal, his adopted hometown. Froch feels the site might be the only point of contention if he and Bute win their respective fights against Ward and Johnson.
“It’s just where the fight will happen,” Froch said. “Will he come out of Canada? Will it be over in England? Will it be in America? But that’s definitely a fight that could happen and should happen, really, because after this ‘Super Six’ final, one guy should be determined or should have a chance to become the three-belt champion, the undisputed [super middleweight] champion of the world.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, NJ., and BoxingScene.com.