Harry Pratt

Froch relishes opportunity to challenge Bute on English soil

Carl Froch is thrilled to face IBF super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute on English soil, in his home city of Nottingham, May 26.

Froch, who lost his WBC belt to American Andre Ward in the Super Six World Boxing Classic final at the end of last year, can scarcely believe his luck that the undefeated Bute has agreed to fight for the first time in his career outside of north America or his native Romania.

“It’s a dream come true to get this opportunity to become a three-time world champion in my home town of Nottingham,” said the 32-year-old Englishman. “I am truly amazed Lucian has said yes to coming to the UK. I am absolutely elated at the news. I am so excited and since I put the phone down to my promoter Eddie Hearn I haven’t stopped smiling. It’s still sinking in, to be honest.

“The Super Six was an incredible journey for me but I missed fighting in the UK. It was important for me I made that happen now. We thought it might have to be against one of the world’s Top 10, which would have been great, but to get Lucian Bute for the IBF world title is just the icing on the cake. I’m ready to go to war all over again.”

Bute (30-0, 24 knockouts) and his advisors have insisted on a rematch clause in the fight contract. Froch (28-2, 20 KOs) believes that to be a wise move, claiming the Montreal-based champion will need to enact it.

“For him to come over here means he is confident and fancies the job. That‘s unusual for him because he usually doesn’t leave Canada,” Froch said. “But, as far as I’m concerned, he’s making a big mistake, and he’s in for a real shock. He has got a rematch option, which is fine. I’ll have to knock him out in Nottingham and then go over to Canada to knock him out again.”

Froch’s promoter Hearn was equally optimistic about his man’s chances at the Capital FM Arena, while thanking 32-year-old Bute for accepting the invitation to go abroad to make a 10th title defense.

“I have to respect Lucian and his team for agreeing to enter the lion’s den and face Carl in his home town,” said Hearn. “But I am fully confident that Carl can become a world champion again.”

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