On his tough schedule and not taking a warm-up fight:
"I really don't see the point in a warm-up fight. At top level, when you've been fighting at the level I've been at for the last two or three years, there's just no point in fighting (nobodies) from Timbuktu. There really isn't. Nobody's interested. I could've still filled the arena with 9,000 local fans because of what I've done, and the respect I've got and earned in the game, but it's not going to get me to where I want to be. I want to be world champion again. And I want to be involved in big fights. It's pointless for me, fighting bum of the month.
"So I said to Eddie, 'Look, get me a world title fight, and I'll get up for this. I'll get up early in the morning and train and get motivated. Other than that, I'll be totally honest with you, I've got no interest in fighting.' It's about a week later he phoned me up and said, 'Bute's coming to England.' I thought it was a wind-up, to be honest. And I'm still coming down off a high, because to be fighting somebody like Lucian Bute, who's IBF world champion, who's undefeated -- I've got a lot to say about who he's fought and how good he is. But we're going to find out, aren't we?"
On adjusting to a non-set schedule after the Super Six:
"It was nice to be tied into consecutive fights, and you know who you're fighting, roughly when you're fighting them, and where you're fighting them. But toward the end, I felt a bit tied down. The Ward fight was delayed a little bit. There was talks of it being in England, then in America, then on the west coast, then the east coast, so it was like, where's the fight taking place? When's it taking place? I know the fight's got to happen. So the whole tournament contract thing was good in the sense that you've got guaranteed fights and guaranteed earning capabilities for the two years, but toward the end it was grinding me down mentally. I'd got sick of it, and I'd had enough of it. So now I do feel like a free man. I'm back out there now, just fighting who I want, fight-by-fight like it was when I first started my career."
On whether he still thinks he can beat Andre Ward:
"Of course. I'd love to put the Mikkel Kessler defeat right, and I'd love to put the Andre Ward defeat right. The fight with Kessler I think could have gone either way, and that's a fight I'd want for the fans. The Ward fight, I feel I lost that fight fair and square, he did enough on the night to win. He almost did a pickpocket job on me. He messed me around, he made me look messy -- every single fight he's involved in is a messy fight. He's a very frustrating, very soft of negatively effective fighter. He's fast, he can hit you with a couple of shots, and then he can keep out the way, or he can sit on your chest and nullify your work.
"He's not exciting, he's not entertaining. In fact, he's very dull and very boring, and every fight he's involved in is boring. But because it was so frustrating, and because I could have done something different -- would've, should've, could've, by the way, like I've said, he beat me fair and square, he did what he had to do to win. But sometimes doing what you have to do win isn't a man's way to win, and it's not a satisfying way. And Ward's now sat in California, and people are thinking to themselves, 'You know what, he's got the WBC and WBA title, but I've got no interest in going over to California to fight that boring git in a fight that no one's interested in.'
"And this is why he's trying to pimp himself out everywhere. He's trying to get a fight with Kessler, he's trying to get Bute, but Bute don't want to fight him. He's talking about a catchweight with (Sergio) Martinez. Ridiculous. Martinez is a light middleweight, at best a middleweight. Who's going to start going up to super middleweight to fight Ward? The desperation from Andre Ward since winning the title off me is getting bad. He's stuck at the minute. So after I beat Bute, I might look at that fight as a rematch, but we'll have to see where it is and when it is. But one fight at a time, the Bute fight's massive. I want to get that one done and dusted."
On how Bute would have done in the Super Six:
"I think he'd have done OK, I don't think he'd have been in the final, if I'm totally honest. But it's hard to say. He's an undefeated fighter, and it's hard to gauge. It's alright to say he hasn't fought anybody, he's rubbish -- I can be quoted as saying he's not very good, he's overrated, because he is overrated. Because you can't rate somebody if you can't compare them -- he's not fought Mikkel Kessler or Jermain Taylor or Andre Dirrell or Andre Ward. He's fought Brian Magee and Glen Johnson. Them two fighters both deserve respect and they're decent fighters, but he's not fought anybody in the top five in the world, who's live, who's hungry, who wants it.
"He is doing now, he's fighting me. But this is why he's doing it, because he's got no options, and no other choice. He's got to fight somebody. And he's thinking, 'You know what, Carl Froch is coming off a loss. Maybe I can beat him.' He's got the safety net of a rematch clause in his contract, so after he gets whooped here in Nottingham, he's got the safety net of knowing I have to go over to Canada and do the same again. Which I'm more than happy to go and do, but he's thinking to himself, 'Well you know, if I drop a points decision in Nottingham, at least I've got the rematch in Canada.' And that's partly one of the reasons he came over. And the fact that he's got no interest in fighting the boring guy I was talking about earlier, Ward."
On the venue:
"We looked at all options, and we're still looking at options, but it looks like it's firmly set here for the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham. Fighting in an arena as opposed to a stadium, it's better atmosphere. The noise bounces off the roof and comes back into it and it's just unbelievable. A lot like the Kell Brook fight with Hatton on the weekend. It was very noisy, and the atmosphere was just electric. I'm happy that it's at the arena rather than the stadium. But if we can sell the stadium, then I think we should. ... The response we're having already is fantastic. It's showing the credit and respect that I've got and what I've built up over the last three years."