By Edward Chaykovsky
Carl Froch, the man who devastated Lucian Bute (32-2, 25KOs) in 2012 with a fifth round knockout, says his countryman James DeGale will not have an easy fight in front of him on November 28th in Quebec, Canada.
DeGale (21-1, 14KOs), making his first defense of the IBF super middleweight crown that he captured in May with a victory over Andre Dirrell, will be faced with a very rabid army of fans cheering on the challenger.
Bute is also hungry to regain his foothold at 168-pounds after losing to Jean Pascal last January in a light heavyweight bout. Bute returned in August with a dominating stoppage of overmatched Andrea Di Luisa.
He also feels the fight is very dangerous from several angles, especially that a loss - when compared to Froch's easy knockout win - will seriously damage DeGale's career. And if DeGale wins easy, most people will say Bute never fully recovered from the battering he received from Froch.
Either way, Froch does not predict a stoppage win for DeGale. He predicts a tough fight with DeGale winning a decision.
There are a few things stopping me jumping straight out and telling people this is an easy fight and he beats Lucien Bute, no problem at all. First of all, a few people have been Cobra'd and while I'm sure DeGale would agree on one of them in particular, Bute is another of them. He is simply not as good as he was. There is no way he is the same fighter that walked in to fight me back in 2012," Froch explained to Sky Sports.
"There are a couple of issues that I think are making this anything but an easy world title defence. The one thing I want to see is just how good DeGale is at this level. The one thing I want and need to see is just how good DeGale is at this level. Don't get me wrong, winning any fight out in America is great but the Andre Dirrell he beat to become IBF champion was also not as good as the one we'd seen before. I wasn't really impressed with DeGale, either.
"It might even be a no-win situation for DeGale, as well. People always make comparisons in boxing and people will compare his performance with that five-round battering I gave Bute. I am not being big-headed but he will find it hard to do better than that. If he does, then people will say Bute was finished off by me, yet if he outpoints him - which I think he will - people will still compare. Like I say, it might be a no-win situation for DeGale and it is far from easy."