Ahead of Carl Froch’s title challenge against Lucian Bute many, myself included, thought that Bute would have slightly too much in his locker. Although Bute had yet to face an elite level opponent, the main thought process was that Bute would prove too much of a stylistic challenge. A tricky southpaw with, on paper, power to match. How wrong was I.
What followed was a savage beating. Froch ripped Bute’s sheet of invincibility away from him with unexpected ease. It was one of those demolitions of a fighter that could conceivably have career-lasting mental affects. For Bute, it was that bad. For Froch, it was that good.
Froch followed up his win over Bute with a third round knockout over Yusaf Mack which, unlike his win over Bute, was expected. However it is the win, and in the manner in which that win came about, that has made me pick Carl Froch as Britain’s top dog.
In reality, there were only two candidates for this award; Carl Froch and Ricky Burns. Each had a career best performance and win this year. Froch over Bute, and Burns over British rival Kevin Mitchell. Burns defeated Mitchell by fourth round TKO.
Burns-Mitchell was seen by many as a 50/50 fight, but, unlike Froch, many had tipped Burns to emerge with his WBO lightweight crown still wrapped safely around his waist; it was just the manner in which he achieved his win that surprised.
To pick who received the award, it came down to which performance was more impressive. There was only one answer, really. Mitchell is a decent fighter, but to compare both bouts you would have to say that Froch was fighting a higher level of opposition than Burns was.
2013 should hopefully be a big year for both Froch and Burns, with Froch looking likely to rematch Mikkel Kessler and the hope is that Burns will attempt to unify the division against Adrien Broner.