May 23rd, 2012 By John Signorella
NEW YORK, NY- An intriguing fight is on the horizon when IBF super middleweight (168) kingpin Lucian Bute (30-0, 24 KOs) takes on rough and dangerous banger Carl Froch (28-2, 20 KOs) in a proposed 12 rounds of throw down at a sold out Nottingham Arena in Nottingham, United Kingdom, Saturday at 6 PM ET on EPIX.
BAPTISM UNDER FIRE
In an all action affair, Lucian Bute burst on the scene against rugged pug Librado Andrade. Going into the 12th round and trailing on all three judges scorecards, a desperate Andrade fired a barrage of punches on a tiring Bute. The plethora of shots sent Lucian reeling as Librado continued to stalk and throw. Andrade eventually nailed the broken down Bute with a devastating blow dropping him to the canvas with less then five seconds remaining in the bout. The referee administered a count in which he stopped at seven to warn Librado for prematurely coming out of his assigned corner. Because of the extended lapse in time, Lucian was able to get up and finish the fight on his feet. Had it not been for the referee’s “long count,” most ringside observers felt Andrade would have been awarded a knockout win. Postmortem, because of much debate and speculation to what should have been the result at the end of their first bout, Bute and Andrade would meet again. This time, the result was much clearer as Lucian ruled out any doubt by finishing Librado within just four rounds compliments of a monstrous body shot (W KO 4). Since, after a series of smashing victories in front of his adoring fans in his adopted country of Canada against formidable opposition against the likes of Edison Miranda ( W TKO 3), Jean Paul Mendy (W KO 4), and Glen Johnson (W UD12), Romanian born scrapper Lucian Bute is looking to continue his success. A spectacular performance for Bute on Saturday could garner him greater international appeal and possibly rank him among the elite “pound for pound” fighters in the world.
FROCH IS NO JOKE FOLKS
In his break out performance against Jermain Taylor, Froch showed tremendous heart and resolve as he recovered from two knockdowns in the second round leading him to a dramatic 12th round knockout win. After the victory over the once highly decorated champ Taylor, Froch entered the critically acclaimed Showtime super middle tournament. Referred to as the “Super Six”, a tournament that pitted some of the best 168 pound fighters in the world against each other in a “round robin” type bracket, Carl entered the competition with much swagger. However in his tourney debut, Froch would turn in a somewhat lackluster performance against a nonthreatening version of Andre Dirrell (W SD 12). Carl then went on to duke it out and fall short of victory in an all out war against Mikkel Kessler (L UD 12). Froch then regrouped, and in his next bout standing opposite of Arthur Abraham, Carl’s hybrid of strength and courage showcased in previous triumphs surfaced to earn a unanimous nod by the judges. In his next effort, Froch bested seasoned former champion and veteran of the game, Glen Johnson via 12 round verdict and secured a spot in the Super Six Finale standing opposite of Andre Ward. In a one sided drumming, the supreme boxing skills of Ward thoroughly dominated Froch over 12 rounds (L UD 12).
Underneath Andre Ward, Bute and Froch are considered to be the two best and most deserving warriors at 168 to earn a shot at Ward. Albeit very different pugilists stylistically, both fighters have a style that can successfully compete against any fighter at 168 and cause them fits, so it will be very intriguing to see which discipline prevails in this encounter. Either way it goes, expect to see a highly entertaining fierce match up of boxer/puncher type world-class athletes battling at the highest level of the sport.
As per usual, the popular fight series “ESPN Friday Night Fights” kicks off the boxing weekend. Each installment of the decorated show features news, analysis of upcoming bouts, interviews, celebrity guests offering insight into the world of boxing, and competitive scraps. This week’s card showcases a solid lightweight (135) main event when free throwing madman thug Ji Hoon Kim (23-7, 18 KOs) faces unbeaten Russian Alisher Rahimov (23-0, 12 KOs) in a slated 10 rounder at the Ameristar Casino in Saint Charles, Missouri, Friday at 9 PM ET on ESPN 2.