by Hans Olson
I like Carl Froch.
I think he’s a talented, tough, gritty, hardworking fighter. He’s shown no signs in the past of avoiding any fighter, repeatedly going on the road to challenge the best fighters around.
On December 17, he’ll do it again when he fights Andre Ward in the finals of Showtime’s Super Six.
That being said, I found Carl Froch’s recent statements to Sky Sports to be very out of character for someone who’s been as willing to fight the best as he himself has.
“The winner of this fight will be the WBC and WBA champion and they’ll be talking about a fight with Lucian Bute but he’s out of the equation really, he’s not up there with the best in the world like me and Ward,” said Froch.
Lucian Bute’s nine defenses of his IBF Super Middleweight Championship mean nothing? Wins over the likes of Librado Andrade, Sakio Bika, and Glen Johnson mean nothing? How about Bute’s knockout percentage? 80% to Froch’s to 68.97%.
Bute is undefeated as well, which does count for something. Froch’s only loss? A decision (albeit a questionable one) to Mikkel Kessler, ringleader of the Bute duckers.
“The fights I’ve had, as far as I’m concerned, put me at the top of the world but this fight will cement it in concrete so I can look anybody in the eye and say I’m the best Super Middleweight on the planet, bar none.”
I’m not so sure Carl Froch could look Lucian Bute in the eye and say that with complete honesty.
Again, I’m not saying that Carl Froch shouldn’t be proud of his accomplishments. Facing a stretch of fights against Jean Pascal, Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham, and Glen Johnson is impressive. Nobody argues this.
The problem, is that Carl Froch knows there is one name out there that could beat him after Andre Ward. That man is Lucian Bute.
Speaking to Boxing Scene’s David Rosenberg, Lucian Bute’s promoter Jean Bedard fired back at Carl Froch.
“Kessler came to Montreal last March to watch Bute fight (Brian) Magee expecting to fight him (next). Instead, he chose to fight (Robert) Stieglitz. We have respect for Stieglitz as a world champion but nevertheless, he lost twice to boxers who Lucian knocked out (Alejandro Berrio and Librado Andrade). Kessler said he would not put his money on Bute in the fight vs. Johnson. I guess he must have been surprised how easily Lucian handled Johnson.”
“Froch was just as surprised by Lucian’s performance. I can tell because two days ago he was ranting how much he wanted to unify the titles and fight Bute and now we get this message. Talk about being mixed up. I am guessing Froch has the same feelings now, that Kessler had last March. They’re in the ‘avoid fighting Lucian at cost business—and business is good.”
If Carl Froch defeats Andre Ward and becomes the winner of the Super Six, sure, he deserves a homecoming fight in Nottingham. Fine, he deserves a soft touch or two.
But he cannot call himself the best Super Middleweight in the world.
To do that he’d have to fight Lucian Bute, and at this point…it appears a fight with Lucian Bute is the last thing Carl Froch wants.
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @hansolson