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Here Is How Carl Froch Beat Lucian Bute

BY Lee Wylie ON May 29, 2012
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 Carl Froch , Lucian ButeBetween 1952 and 1955, Rocky Marciano fought and defeated an array of the most talented ring technicians of his time -slicksters like Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles and Archie Moore. Each of them succumbed to Marciano's superior tenacity -their cuteness was no match for "The Rock's" crudeness. History repeated itself yet again Saturday in Nottingham.

Prior to the bout,many -myself included- expected Lucian Bute to have far too much polish and skill for his English challenger. We got it wrong. In a display befitting his pseudonym, Carl "The Cobra" Froch struck with unpredictable precision from the outside. Technique was rendered useless as Bute was forced into surrendering his IBF 168 pound title in front of a legion of his unorthodox challenger's hometown fans.

Throughout the next few days, many will point to the lack of any real quality on Bute's resume as the main reason for this unexpected turn of events. Personally, I think this would be a discredit to Carl Froch and his trainer Robert McCracken,who in my opinion, got their tactics absolutely spot on.

For me, nothing has changed with regards to Bute. Heading in, we knew his chin was suspect, having previously been dented by Gennady Golovkin {in the amateurs} and again by Librado Andrade. But with Bute's superior skill, speed and power, I didn't think Froch possessed the attributes to put it to the test.

History is replete with technique being trumped by anti-technique.

As I watched the action unfold, I couldn't help but think of fights gone by. I thought of Rocky Marciano. I thought of Ricardo Mayorga upsetting the far more refined Vernon Forrest. I thought of Manny Pacquiao's unexpected dethroning of Marco Antonio Barrera in their first bout. I thought of Aaron Pryor's wildness overwhelming Alexis Arguello's neatness. Make no mistake, this was every bit as much about Froch's superb tactics as it was about Bute being untested.

By nature, Lucian Bute is a counterpuncher. Counterpunchers thrive on predictability. Bute would have liked nothing more than for Froch to press the attack, throwing conventional punches, giving him angles with which to work from. Froch threw away conventional wisdom. Here is what he did.


1. Froch fought on the back foot. He made Bute press the attack -a counterpunchers nightmare. Bute would have expected Froch to be the aggressor in front of his hometown fans.

2. Froch usually stands at a very narrow angle to his opponent -standing side on in order to lengthen his jab. Instead, Froch kept his right hand by his chin and stood with his shoulders more squared up to Bute. Seeing this, Bute thought he could outjab Froch. He couldn't; Froch, {despite what the Sky Sports graphic said before the fight} has the superior reach.Instead of waiting to counter, or to take the lead, Froch jabbed WITH Bute. Because his right glove was by his chin, Froch was able to simultaneously parry Bute's jab and land his own. Again, counterpunchers rely on rhythm and familiarity. Froch took away Bute's rhythm early.....Eddie Futch's drilling of this strategy into Ken Norton was the reason Muhammad Ali never quite got to grips with "the Fighting Marine" in three attempts.

3. As a result, after taking away the jab, Bute resorted to a lot of herky jerky posturing from the outside. He seemed reluctant to let his hands go.

4. Froch then began to lead with a right hooker-cut from his waist.This proved to be the perfect antidote for Bute's southpaw shell. Bute would bend at the waist, looking to avoid the right lead, as his left elbow covered his torso. There was a gap. Froch found it with this unorthodox shot from the outside. It didn't matter that Froch lacked handspeed, as the unpredictable nature of the attack -disguising it behind his left shoulder and throwing it from the hip- made up for any discrepancies in this area.

5. As Froch continued having success with this shot, he introduced a left hook behind it. Again,this would have been the last thing that Bute -a counterpuncher who thrives on familiarity- would have expected.

6. Despite the unconventionality behind Froch's attack, there was a scientific pearl amongst the rubble. Everytime he attacked, not once did Froch ever forget the golden rule when facing a southpaw, always get your lead foot outside of the southpaw's lead foot.
By doing so, Froch was always in optimum range to land his unconventional right hand, while at the same time, taking away the risk of a counter from Bute.

For me, this is where the fight was won and lost, not on a piece of paper with names on it.

I still think Bute is an elite talent, who will likely bounce back from this. Even the very great Roberto Duran suffered a similar fate when he was inexplicably taken out in two at the hands of Thomas Hearns. These things can happen from time to time. I've seen enough of Bute that suggests to me that he is not as overrated as what many will probably label him to be over the next few days.

In my eyes, this was a stark reminder that sometimes skill isn't everything in boxing. On this night, as we have seen on many other nights during the past, skill and cuteness was overhauled by will and crudeness.

We must take nothing away from Froch, who on Saturday night,found an answer for the sweet science.

Comment on this article

MisterLee says:

Nice analysis!

Grimm says:

Hope you're right he'll bounce back - he has the tools for it, but in what mental shape remains to be seen.

For all that happened in Nottingham, Bute is a beauty in the ring - and if there where any doubts what so ever about Frochs chin going into the fight, he answered them all when he just swallowed a couple of pretty clean shots and kept coming on hard.

deepwater says:

this article is a joke. frch won because he has the fightrer instinct and punches harder then the mexiacn that ko'd bute. bute was protected. follow the money and research boxrec. I hope this writer doesnt get paid for this nonsense.

Radam G says:

Wow! Deepwater keep taking arses to deep waters with knowledge and drowning 'em. I swim his way on this one BIG TIME! Bute was a protected lad in Canada. And I told you guys a long time ago that once he starts believing that he could really fight and make the mistake of leaving Canada, his a$$ would be grass.

Danggit! Hehehe! Now I know how the prophets felt. Just kidding! Holla!

Grimm says:

this article is a joke. frch won because he has the fightrer instinct and punches harder then the mexiacn that ko'd bute. bute was protected. follow the money and research boxrec. I hope this writer doesnt get paid for this nonsense.


Theres more to Froch than that - most of all his boxing IQ, why the writer is spot on. If he was just about punching power and fight instinct, he would be long gone.

BHarper85 says:

Here Is How Carl Froch Beat Lucian Bute: He f!@#ed his a$$ up. Seriously, good analysis of the fight and how Froch won, but the part about Bute still being an elite fighter is just totally wrong to me. He never really was one to begin with to me, but he had a chance to prove it and failed in spectacular fashion. And the Duran comparison is beyond ridiculous. Duran had already long-secured a HOF career when Hearns beat him. Bute had only won an alphabet soup belt and defended it in his backyard against B-level fighters and lower.

deepwater says:

Theres more to Froch than that - most of all his boxing IQ, why the writer is spot on. If he was just about punching power and fight instinct, he would be long gone.


Froch has the killer instinct and is not protected. froch learned more in his defeats then protected bute learned in his easy wins. when you are going to pick a fight go to boxrec first and look at the opponants record. you wouldd of seen that bute looks great against limited opp. the mexican knocked him out so how would you think froch wouldnt?

deepwater says:

bute will never be the same just like jermain taylor

deepwater says:

Theres more to Froch than that - most of all his boxing IQ, why the writer is spot on. If he was just about punching power and fight instinct, he would be long gone.


Froch has the killer instinct and is not protected. froch learned more in his defeats then protected bute learned in his easy wins. when you are going to pick a fight go to boxrec first and look at the opponants record. you wouldd of seen that bute looks great against limited opp. the mexican knocked him out so how would you think froch wouldnt?

deepwater says:

bute will never be the same just like jermain taylor

deepwater says:

the writer is spot on?!!this writer doesnt know s7ht about boxing thats why he picked bute to start with. this author gets no credit because his premise was wrong from the get go. I told you what would happen and why it would happen. and it went just like i said. froch is a tough guy with underrated boxing skill. he has great jab and great chin and good power. the thing is who has he been in the ring with? froch has been in with the killers. bute has not been in with sh7t! any romanian with canadian citizinship can dance around and look good against tomatoe cans. check the freakin boxrec record and compare . you will see who is real and who is not. you picked wrong just like the writer. now the writer is spot on? blah blah blah

deepwater says:

Here Is How Carl Froch Beat Lucian Bute: He f!@#ed his a$$ up. Seriously, good analysis of the fight and how Froch won, but the part about Bute still being an elite fighter is just totally wrong to me. He never really was one to begin with to me, but he had a chance to prove it and failed in spectacular fashion. And the Duran comparison is beyond ridiculous. Duran had already long-secured a HOF career when Hearns beat him. Bute had only won an alphabet soup belt and defended it in his backyard against B-level fighters and lower.

Agree!

deepwater says:

from before the fight= ( effective aggression will carry the day for froch)
deepwater how on earth is froch gonna ko bute?

you are as delusional as froch. froch has more power and skill then the mexican that knocked out bute in the last round.the crooked ref saved bute. froch has hometown advantage. big thing to have because the crowd will cheer every missed punch froch throws. bute does not have the power to keep froch away. if bute moves to much he will lose the round even if he throws more punches. effective aggression will carry the day for froch. put some $ on it

Radam G says:

Bute and Jemaine Taylor should tangle now. It would probably end in a double knockout. Hehehehe! I've not see that in a while. Holla!

ali says:

There have been fighters with weak chins that have come back and beat the guy that KO them. One name that comes to mind is Terry Norris vs Simon Brown so im not going to just count Bute out just yet. I want to see what happens if he stays off the ropes and keeps the fight in the middle of the ring.

Grimm says:

@deepwater: I hear you, and congrats to a good pick.

However, the wrighter may very well know one or two things about the fight game even though he picked the wrong guy. I picked the wrong guy (as you pointed out), and while it by no means keep me awake at night, I don't see myself as don't knowing s--t about boxing.

Froch won. I'm impressed with the way he imposed his will and his gameplan. Coz there was a gameplan. There always is, on this level. If it wasn't so, there would be no science to it - just two dumb dudes fighting it out at the nearest bar, charging forward with a swollen waist as leverage behind the cowboy-like-swings.

Radam G says:

Darn! SCLA Ali finally made sense. WTF! Dude just got straight-up righteous. I didn't know that he has it. We better watch dat muthasucka. He's been holding out and playing all us know-our-syet cats. Hehehehe! Holla!

deepwater says:

@deepwater: I hear you, and congrats to a good pick.

However, the wrighter may very well know one or two things about the fight game even though he picked the wrong guy. I picked the wrong guy (as you pointed out), and while it by no means keep me awake at night, I don't see myself as don't knowing s--t about boxing.

Froch won. I'm impressed with the way he imposed his will and his gameplan. Coz there was a gameplan. There always is, on this level. If it wasn't so, there would be no science to it - just two dumb dudes fighting it out at the nearest bar, charging forward with a swollen waist as leverage behind the cowboy-like-swings.


cool. who do you have between cloud and pascal?

Grimm says:

cool. who do you have between cloud and pascal?


Honestly, I've seen too little of them both to make a prediction. I watched Pascal-Hopkins II, but that's about it. I've got my hands full watching all them german shows that keep coming by way of terrestrial TV. (By the way...it's odd that I can sit half a globe away and watch american fights on TV, and not pay a penny for it, while you guys have to dish out plenty of dollars for the same fights on your own backyard. Its an upside-down kind of world. The same goes for Pacman-Bradley: free on nationwide TV.)

I don't wanna make predictions when I haven't seen the fighters. In consequence, I had seen Bute for about 4-5 years, and every fight with Froch since the one with Taylor...and yet...yeah, you know.

I expect an entertaining one from them, though. It's been a good year of fistiana, so far, and they seem to keep on coming. Cheers.

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