Lucian Bute, who lost his IBF super middleweight title and his undefeated record at the hands of Carl Froch last Saturday, is not making any excuses for his defeat in Nottingham, England, and is instead focusing on getting himself back in action, and an eventual rematch with "The Cobra," whether there's a belt on the line or not.
"Every athlete has to admit defeat. Great champions need to know to lose. I have to learn from this defeat. This is not the end of the world. ... On Saturday night, Carl Froch was better. Any great athlete must have dignity, to be able to congratulate your opponent. I was the favorite and everyone thought I would win easily. We all thought that, even me. Unfortunately, you saw what happened there. I believe that in five rounds I boxed in only one, for about three minutes. I was totally dominated. After the first round, I was very sure of myself. I told my coach that [he was] slow. But things changed in the second round."
Bute (30-1, 24 KO) may have gone in wildly overconfident to face Froch, but that may also be a result of the fact that Bute's only been really challenged once, and it was only over three minutes against Librado Andrade. I mean, he didn't have it easy with Sakio Bika, and even Brian Magee gave him a few decent looks in their fight, but it was never anything like what Froch did with him last weekend.
Frankly, Bute seemed totally unprepared for that sort of attack from that level of fighter. Now it's a question of whether or not he can get his mind right and make adjustments to seriously compete at the very top level, or if he's simply a fighter who isn't quite elite.
Still, like I said after the fight, there is nothing I can say I don't like about Lucian Bute. He was doubted because he fought exclusively in Quebec, making big money, against opponents who often were not of true world championship caliber. So he went to Nottingham and fought the best available opponent.
Yes, he lost. He lost badly. He even says, "I was totally dominated." The man isn't making even half an excuse here other than to say he wasn't good enough. He went on the road, fought a top opponent, and lost. He could easily be sitting in that No. 2 spot in the division still, with his IBF belt, having not faced anyone near that level, and certainly not traveling across the Atlantic to do so.
Instead, he took the risk. Good fighters lose sometimes when they face fellow good fighters. Great fighters lose when they face fellow great fighters. Bute was "exposed," but it's far from certain that he was "always overrated." He's a good fighter. I know I've said this a bunch, but I never understand this culture of dismissing guys as frauds for losing a good fight. It's not just promoters or TV people who do that, it's the entire boxing world, right down to the fans, who are supposed to be the sport's life blood, the people who just want to see the good fights. Too often, when we see the good fights, the guy who loses is treated like he sucks, and cast aside. It's something I really hate.
Anyway, as for the rematch, that won't be coming next. It looks as though Froch vs Kessler II will happen by the end of the year, and Bute will probably take a get-well fight in Quebec in the meantime. Froch vs Bute II, if it happens at all, could happen next spring, according to Eddie Hearn.