By Hans Olson
“I’m very happy to have this opportunity to fight Carl Froch,” said IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute at today’s Montreal presser in advance of his clash with Carl Froch on May 26 in Nottingham, England.
“It’s good timing for me to fight him. Carl has a lot of experience, yes he’s strong fighter, he has good power with both hands, I know that. He is very slow though and I think the difference will be my speed. And my ability too. He is a very aggressive fighter, a very tough fighter, a very strong fighter. He has a good chin. For my mind now, all I have is Carl Froch, I’m concentrating everything on him, after that, we’ll see, maybe Andre Ward, maybe up to 175.”
Although fighting on the road will be difficult, it’s a challenge Bute embraces. Away from the confines of Quebec, the fight will register differently emotionally…but Lucian is ready.
“It was difficult to manage my emotions in Romania (his native homeland, where he fought last year),” said Bute. “There was a lot of pressure on my shoulders. I could not lose at home. And it’s the same thing in Quebec. I have huge responsibilities when I am fighting here.”
Similar, but different.
Much like the styles of Froch and Bute–styles that on paper look to be made for an explosive encounter.
Lucian’s trainer, Stéphan Larouche, feels this is an important fight for boxing.
“This is what boxing needs, real fights,” said Larouche.
“What needs do be done now is to defend the belt in England and it won’t be easy. We’ll have to prepare perfectly, correctly, like we always do. Carl Froch has shown the will to win many times, he’s one of the most spectacular fighters in the division. He was always involved in the best fights when the Super Six was on. We know that. We know what it will be like for him to be home. We know what that is.
“Sometimes in boxing there is what you might call a miracle. We might say it was a miracle when Lucian stood up and finished the fight against Librado Andrade. Some people thought he lost the fight, that he got knocked out. If you think that, that’s fine, let’s say he lost he fight. But the future remains the same! He knocked out everybody except Glen Johnson, so we’re either 30-0, or 29-1, it’s up to you, but the future remains the same.
“I was there when Carl was on the floor in the second versus Jermain Taylor. He got a little bit lucky, Jermain Taylor got a little bit tired and he pulled out a miracle. They both were able to pull out a miracle, so I think we’re even on this. We have a major task on the table, we know that, but we’re not stupid, we know what we can do. In boxing, speed is hard to beat, and we will rely on our speed.”
Froch, however, disagreed with some of Larouche’s assessments.
“Stéphan knows what he is talking about, but there are a few things I disagree with,” said the former WBC super middleweight champ.
“I don’t believe in miracles. I don’t think winning a fight by climbing off the canvas and forcing a stoppage against a great fighter like Jermain Taylor is a miracle. It has nothing to do with luck, it has to do with preparation, will to win, heart, desire, strength, courage. Anything but luck. A real man makes his own luck.
“Lucian Bute didn’t partake in the Super Six against the other best fighters in the world and was sitting back waiting. The natural fight for me after the final with Andre Ward was with Lucian Bute, that’s the fight I wanted. Unfortunately, I lost a close decision against Ward, it was a very difficult awkward night for me, I wasn’t myself, but as you can see after my loss against Kessler, I came back firing on all cylinders to become WBC two-time champion.
“Coming off the back of the Super Six final, I have the hunger and desire, the commitment and the courage to do everything I need to become victorious in my hometown, I said I didn’t believe in miracles, but Eddie pulled off a miracle to get Lucian to come to hometown of Nottingham. But big respect to Lucian Bute, he’s been a great champion, he is undefeated, he means business and I’ve got a lot of respect for him, but I’m here to win the fight.”
The truth of this fight is found in its tagline: there truly is “no easy way out.”
For either fighter.