By Johnny Walker
Carl “The Cobra” Froch annihilated previously undefeated Lucian Bute at the Nottingham Arena, Nottingham, England tonight, to win the IBF Super Middleweight title.
Froch (29-2, 21 KOs), who said after the fight that a loss to Bute (30-1, 24 KOs) would have meant his retirement from the sport, came back from an anemic effort last time out against Andre Ward in the Super Six final to fight with fire and passion against the now former champ Bute.
The first two rounds were close, with Bute landing some hard left hands and trying to box, while Froch roughhoused and charged into the champ with some accurate flurries.
The tide changed for good in Froch’s direction in round three, as after a good right-left combination from Bute, Froch launched another flurry and rocked the champion, who was holding on as the round ended.
Bute steadied himself in round four, getting back to boxing and landing some good left hands to Froch’s body. After an exchange of big punches from both men, Froch landed a monster right hand and then a vicious left on the Canadian’s chin. Bute was out on his feet as the round ended.
Round five was destined to be the end for Bute, as Froch wasted little time closing the show, snapping Bute’s head back repeatedly during another vicious flurry against the ropes. The referee gave Bute a count, and Froch’s promoter Eddie Hearn risked getting his man disqualified by jumping into the ring and celebrating prematurely.
Bute was unable to continue, and Carl Froch was declared the new IBF super middleweight champion at 1:05 of round five.
“He can punch, he hit me with some good shots in there,” Froch said of Bute following the fight.
“I was just on it tonight.”
“If I had lost here tonight, I was going to announce my retirement.”
Bute has a rematch clause for a fight in Montreal, but after this performance, it will be interesting to see if he will invoke it.
For Froch, aside from Bute, big rematches with Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward also await.
Retirement for Carl Froch?
Perish the thought.