Carl Froch fears he may have ended Lucian Bute’s career after delivering a “devastating beating” which crowned him a three-time world champion while crushing his opponent’s unbeaten record.
The Englishman snatched Bute’s IBF super-middleweight title with a superb fifth-round stoppage in Nottingham on Saturday night and is now contracted to travel to Canada, where Romanian Bute is based, to defend the belt in a rematch.
However, the 34-year-old believes Bute may never fight again, let alone step into the ring for a second dose.
He said: “Personally I don’t think Bute will want the rematch because as a fighter, I looked into his eyes and after round three I saw something drain from him. Something only a fighter can see.
“I don’t think he’s going to want to fight again, let alone fight me again. Honestly.
“He came here unbeaten and got absolutely, devastatingly beaten. That doesn’t happen often to top-level fighters.
“That is a beating, the whupping of all whuppings. I’ve not seen it back yet. I’m not bragging. I don’t want to hurt anybody, I’m not proud of hurting people but that’s what I’m in the ring to do. If the boot was on the other foot, you know what would happen.
“That was some performance by me – and I think it was a career-ending performance. You never know. I don’t know what he’s made of, so we’ll see.”
Instead, Froch would prefer to avenge his two career defeats – against Mikkel Kessler in 2010 and Andre Ward in December last year.
His over-riding ambition, however, is still to become a unified champion after previously holding the WBC title twice and now owning the IBF crown.
“I’ve still got that dream of unifying the world titles,” Froch said. “I think Ward is stepping up to light-heavyweight to fight Chad Dawson – or Dawson is coming down to super-middle, which could be a mistake.”
After his impressive battering of Bute, he said: “Fighting like that, I’d beat anybody in my weight division. There’s nobody that can touch me. If I catch Ward on the chin with some of the shots like I landed on Bute, it’s game over. It’s a simple as that.
“Andre Ward had a good night and Carl Froch had a bad night and that’s the reason he won that fight.
“But in a rematch – especially over here – I do feel that with a performance like I put in against Bute, I’d beat anybody in the world, including Andre Ward.”
As for Kessler – to whom Froch lost in the Dane’s home country in a close decision two years ago – Froch is keen to right that wrong too.
“That is one that could be a tasty dust-up in the future. “It would be nice to avenge the defeat.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved