Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Can Bute make it back to the top?

When you think back to around half a year ago, Lucian Bute was considered as a serious pound-for-pound contender and the one to beat in the super-middleweight division (along with Andre Ward). He had looked unbeatable in all of his fights so far, he had not fought any of the "Super Six" as they were called, but he was on his way to bigger and better fights. I actually had him at No.11 on this site's pound-for-pound list and No.2 in the super-middleweight rankings. The Ring Magazine actually had him at No.1, ahead of Andre Ward. I don't see quite how, but they did!
But then came that fatal night when he chose to risk all of this in an attempt to prove all of his critics wrong. He travelled out of his homeland, took a step out of his comfort zone and took a fight with Carl Froch in 'The Cobra's' hometown of Nottingham.

Many people praised him for taking this risk, and a lot of people believed he would give Froch his last world-level fight of his career. Froch was now 34-years old and coming off of a loss to Ward, and recently said that he would retire if he lost this fight. It was, basically, a crossroads fight. If Bute had won, he would officially be up there with the top super-middleweights, if Froch had won, he would remain up there with the top super-middleweights. Obviously, Bute was the huge favourite going into this fight but there were some people who thought, you could say knew, that the risk was just too big.

What happened that night, for British fight fans, was amazing. But for Bute and his Canadian/Romanian fans it was very, very bad. Froch walked straight through everything Bute threw and demolished, with emphasis on the word "demolished," in just four rounds.  It was actually Froch that looked a class above. He looked like the better boxer and the much, much better fighter. Bute lost everything that night... His world title, his pound-for-pound status and his reputation.

The question is now.. Will he ever get back to the level he was at? Will he ever be regarded as talented pound-for-pound contender again? 

The answer to this question could be no, but it could also quite easily be yes. He definitely has the talent. It's just whether he will be able to get over what happened on May 26th. This may sound easy but you will never really know until its happened to you. This could have had a really big affect on him mentally. 

One thing we can't forget is that he has a rematch clause with Froch. Whether he will choose to cash it in or not is still unknown. Personally, I think he should wait a very long time before he steps in the ring with one of the top guys at super-middleweight. He needs a few victories against decent fighters to build his record back up. Maybe in a few fights time he will be ready to rematch Froch or go for another world title but first he needs to prove to us, and himself, that he is ready this time. 

So to answer the question in the title, I think yes, he can return to the top level but he has to go the right way about it. He definitely has the talent to match them at the top but he needs to be smart too. With confidence and courage he can do it.

By Jack Price @PriceyJ97.

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