Carl Froch tells livefight.com that he's happy not only for himself that he'll be getting a shot at Lucian Bute, but for the UK fight fans who will get a chance to see him live without traveling. The fight is set for May 26 at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham.
"After two years of fighting world class guys away from home, it's going to be nice to have familiarity of fighting at Nottingham Arena. Just the fact I can get into my own bed the night before the fight will make a nice change after flying all over doing press tours, press conferences and then fighting.
"Lucian Bute is perhaps one of the best foreign visitors since Kessler came in 2007, he is the IBF champion and he is unbeaten. He's at the peak of his powers and that's what I want. I don't want to put down an old injured veteran fighter who's at the end of their career, I want them at their very best - unbeaten and winning emphatically.
"The second reason is my loyal fans get to see me without flying half way around the world. They suffered a lot with the Kessler, Abraham and Ward fights getting pushed back. Many had non-refundable flights, so it's been a real strain for them."
Froch (28-2, 20 KO) also continues keeping arguably the toughest schedule in boxing with this fight against Bute (30-0, 24 KO). Having lost to Andre Ward in his last fight, Froch gets a chance to prove now that if he's not currently the No. 1 man, he's a strong No. 2 behind Ward.
What are your early impressions on how this fight will go? Neither man is quite as young as they sometimes may seem (Bute is 32, Froch 34), but of the two, I think it's safe to say that Bute:
- Has had the easier slate of fights, especially over the last three years.
- Has taken less punishment as a result of that.
- Hasn't fatigued himself in the other ways Froch has: All that travel can take an extra toll, and the pressure has been tighter on Froch than it has been on Bute, I would wager.
Froch gives Bute and his team much credit for coming to Nottingham for this fight, and that is the consensus of fight fans, too, it would appear.
I'm expecting a good one here. Froch should be Bute's toughest opponent to date, and is definitely the highest-ranked fighter he's fought yet, the most well-regarded. Froch's mission is going to be to "expose" Bute as not as good as his reputation, but that should prove quite a difficult task. Personally, I'm favoring Bute for the moment, as I think he's got the style to give Froch serious problems, but Froch's career has been built on proving people wrong. He was always supposed to be too slow, too simple to succeed on the world stage, and those predictions didn't pan out to say the least. He could prove the skeptics wrong again, and this would probably be the best win of his career if he does indeed pull it off.