Bute ready to spoil Froch party

By Dave Spencer
Photos Herby Whyne
While Carl Froch is promising to greet visitor Lucian Bute who makes the tenth defense of his IBF super-middleweight with a decibel hell this weekend in Nottingham England, the champion plans to crash the home-coming party for the former two-time world champion. “This is Carl Froch’s organized home-coming party,” says Bute’s trainer Stephane Larouche, “We’ve decided to come, we’re not welcome, but we know what role we have to play. The positive energy won’t be there, we know that when we’re in there, it’s going to be a maximum amount of effort for a minimum amount of reward and the opposite is true for your opponent, that for a minimum amount of efficiency, he’ll get a maximum amount of reward.”

Larouche who has had decisions go the wrong way before when fighting on the road has done everything he can to set the table for his fighter, but knows no matter what the preparation, it is still going to an arduous task for his fighter who will be out of his comfort zone come Saturday night, Bute’s first time as a professional going into truly hostile territory. “You can’t force things” advises the trainer who was at the wrong end of a controversial decision years ago in Germany that cost his fighter Eric Lucas his world title. “You have to trust the system unfortunately but most of the time the system is right. But you have to realize when you’re not at home, you have to give that little bit more. I told Lucian and he feels the same way that once he walks to the ring he’ll be putting the belt down and it will become vacant and he’ll have to work a little harder to gain it back.”

Presently Bute is surrounded by a team of twenty to thirty people from Montreal including other boxers, trainers, nutritionists and strength and conditioning coaches and is within a couple of minutes from the gym. “We’ve been one big team for days now, he’s never felt that environment before in Montreal, we feel like we do in Romania, a big crew there for Lucian, but the big difference is going to be the night of the fight. The vibration of the arena will be going against him. This is something we tried to copy in training camp, we had a major sound system with the bass and with the crowd, we recorded the soundtrack of Carl Froch fights, but we know that the night of the fight is going to be even louder than this, but at least Lucian knows it.”

A lot of what went on at his Florida training camp was to take the fighter away from his comfort zone, but never to the point where his previous foundation of hard work was compromised. “We‘ve been doing exactly the same camp, but once in a while, we made slight adjustments, some reactions, tomorrow we don’t spar in our own gym but go somewhere else, tomorrow the order of sparring is going to change, you don’t know how many rounds, you don’t know which days you’ll spar. When it’s not broken, you don’t fix it, we’ve run the same camp but changed a few things to get a reaction from Lucian, we didn’t change the whole protocol, the foundation was always the same.”

The Froch-Bute fight is one that has simmered away for over three years now, ever since Bute was a special guest at ringside for Froch’s coming out party of dramatically storming back in the last minute to stop and upset Jermaine Taylor. The super-six derailed any plans of a possible match-up between the two and saw the British fighter go 3-2 in that span, going the distance each time while Bute posted six victories with five coming by knockout and barely losing a round along the way. Larouche believes the fights by Froch while close, were not physical enough to have any adverse affect on the 34 year-old. “You have to look at what type of fights wear a fighter down. I haven’t seen any wars. When he fought Direll, I don’t know how many punches landed in that fight, but not too many in twelve rounds. When he fought Ward, it was a technical fight with Ward closing the gap to avoid Froch working on the inside. When he fought Kessler it was a long range fight with both guys hitting each other at the end of their arms, it was a spectacular fight but I don’t think it was a war, it was a good quality fight. I think he became a more accomplished fighter over the tournament and gained confidence in that time. He gave a boxing lesson to Arthur Abraham who was not strong enough to be part of the tournament.

“He showed with Jermain Taylor an incredible desire, heart and will to win, he had all the reason to quit and fade out in this fight. He got dropped in the third round, came back and was still losing rounds and came back and at the end was in better shape than Taylor and took over and finally knocked him out. This is what I believe is the major strength of Carl Froch, he will never quit, it’s never over till it’s over, he sometimes gets stronger as the fight goes on, this is his best weapon. He has a major major will to win he is a true warrior but not yet abused by the wars. They were technical fights, but in terms of getting hit, not too many wars.”

Bute presumably has learned his lesson on fight twelve full and complete rounds. He saw what Froch was able to do to Taylor, and more importantly he lived the experience with the first Andrade fight. “Carl is the same thing as Andrade, but with heavier hands, he puts tons of pressure on you, throws combinations and will try and wear you down.

“Lets see how he reacts with counter-punching, with angles and with speed and movement. This will be the task for Lucian Saturday. Lucian knows his strengths, knows his weaknesses, but he knows if you let him work in the office all night he’s quite effective and can do a lot of damage. When he walks through you, he is a very dangerous fighter. He also is a fighter with a weird rhythm.

“I think there is a little bit more of motivation for Lucian after listening to all the things he has been saying. There is more desire in Lucian’s head to perform and deliver the goods because it is Carl Froch."