Carl Froch produced a dominant display to win the IBF Super-Middleweight title, stopping Lucian Bute in the fifth-round to the delight of a partisan home crowd.
Froch, who admitted contemplating retirement following his defeat to Andre Ward in 2011, proved he still has plenty to offer one of the most competitive weight-divisions in the sport, despite a gruelling run of eight elite-level fights in four years.
‘After the Andre Ward defeat I was very, very deflated. I was here to put right a wrong,’ Froch told Sky Sports.
‘I was more determined than ever before. I was very switched on, focused and determined. I came here to do a job. If it had gone 12 rounds it would have been 12 rounds of that. I was on it.’
The Nottingham fighter, whose record improved to 31-29-2, defied his reputation as a slow-starter, forcing Bute against the ropes and throwing some good combinations in rounds one and two.
However, it was the third round in which Froch really took charge, wobbling the champion with a huge right hand before unleashing some savage body shots.
Bute seemed to have bought himself some time with a measured approach to round four, but had to be saved by the bell after Froch forced him against the ropes with another massive right hand.
Bute was visibly dazed as stumbled to his chair, and Froch wasted no time in finishing the champion off with a right-left combination after his unlikely emergence for round five.
Few predicted such a comprehensive defeat for the previously unbeaten Bute, who may look to exercise a rematch clause in the fight contract. There seem to be few other options for the Romanian if he wishes to re-establish his reputation.
On the other hand, “The Cobra”, who has confessed to feeling underrated by the media, has cemented his place in British Boxing history. The now three-time world champion’s attentions will be focused only on the future, however, as he now looks to avenge the defeats he has suffered against Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward.