Ward/Froch on Lucian Bute
When asked if they can be “universally regarded as the best” without having fought Lucian Bute, Ward and Froch found unanimity…
Andre Ward and Carl Froch don’t like each other. Anyone who has seen Showtime’s Fight Camp 360° knows that there’s no love lost between the two finalists of the Super Six Boxing Classic. There is grudging respect, as well there should be since they’re the two super middleweights left standing and are getting it on this Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. But they seem to go out of their way to agree to disagree as to who’s the better the fighter, no less than whose hand will be raised at the final bell.
The differences between Ward and Froch—stylistically, temperamentally, pugilistically—was as glaring as ever during Tuesday’s final press conference at the Edison Ballroom in midtown Manhattan. Ward has said things Froch hasn’t liked. Froch has said things Ward hasn’t liked. The hostility between the two men isn’t of the Cotto-Margarito variety, and for that we can be grateful. Still, Andre Ward would like nothing better than to shut Carl Froch’s mouth, and the feeling is mutual.
Despite all that, there is one thing upon which the WBA champion and WBC champion have found common ground, and that one thing is Lucian Bute. Bute wasn’t part of the Super Six, he chose not to participate, yet he has haunted the tournament more in his absence than he might have had been present. While Ward and Froch were fighting the likes of Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham, Andre Dirrell, Sakio Bika, Jermain Taylor, Allan Green and Glen Johnson, Bute was doing his thing in Canada and reaping publicity which Ward and Froch feel that he did not earn and does not deserve.
When asked, among other impertinent questions at yesterday’s presser, if they can be “universally regarded as the best” without having fought Bute, Ward and Froch found unanimity, however fleeting.
An annoyed Froch interrupted the questioner.
“Most definitely not,” he said. “I’m sorry to be ignorant and stop you in your tracks, but Lucian Bute isn’t in the mix. I know he’s IBF champion, but the two names on his record are Brian Magee and Glengoffe Johnson. That’s it. He lost to a guy, he got knocked out by guy called Librado Andrade in round 12 of his fight. He actually got KO’d. The referee picked him up off the canvas, washed his windshield, and then 40 seconds later the bell was rung. He won the fight on points, but in my opinion it wasn’t fair.
“Lucian Bute needs to fight a couple of top level fighters before he can call himself the best of the best, or in the top three in the world, or the top two in the world like myself and Andre Ward. Obviously he’s IBF champion, and that would make the winner of this tournament and the winner of these two glorious belts a natural progression to go unify the titles. But he might get a chance to get an absolute whupping, because that’s what would happen. You’ll see what when it happens.”
Andre Ward listened attentively before offering some thoughts of his own.
“I agree,” said Ward. “Lucian Bute has to fight the winner of this fight to be the best. That’s the bottom line. No disrespect to Lucian Bute, but he’s fought B-minus and C-level competition. He’s done what he’s supposed to do. He got them out of there. But he’s been preserving himself, trying to wait for the winner of this tournament, while we’ve been putting in a lot of hard work. So absolutely not. We’ve got nothing else to prove in terms of who’s the best after this fight. He has to come to us. We don’t have to go to him.”