Last night’s fight between Lucian Bute and Carl Froch was expected to be less than competitive with the critically acclaimed Bute getting an easy win over the fighter from the UK. I saw Froch lose in the Super Six Championship in person and while I thought Ward would be less dominant than he was, I feel somewhat absolved in this demonstration of skill by Froch. I had only hours before countered a fellow fan’s argument that Bute would “dominate” Froch by saying that Froch “punches straighter” and only because I knew so little about both fighters, hesitated to include that “Froch is as fast or faster.” The critics were probably right that Bute has more technical control than Froch and therefore could adapt to more fight styles than his opponent, but some styles will always defeat others. Froch did, in fact, demonstrate superior speed and infighting, as I had secretly anticipated. I did not predict the severity of the upset, however, as Froch scored an increasingly inevitable knockout in round 5 in arguably the best fight of his career. ESPN poses the obvious question about the two fighters’ futures. Ward dominated Froch to the point that a rematch between the two is undesirable if not unwatchable and Froch did the same to Bute.
The next fight on the boxing horizon is Pacquiao-Bradley but for me, the impending headbutt-fest is eclipsed by the announcement of the next really significant fight: Williams-Alvarez. I have been speculating about how the fight between Williams and Alvarez would play out since I first started considering Canelo’s prospects and, around the same time, first started doubting the talent and abilities, or at least the ring smarts, of Paul Williams. The once “next big thing” is pitted against the new player in the role who, with fewer physical attributes to his advantage, has an incredible edge in youth and experience. In my estimation, Alvarez has, at this early stage in his career, already matched Williams’ experience of competition save for Martinez. Williams is more than a worthy challenge for Alvarez at 6’2″ with incomparable reach and at a trim 154 pounds. After the Erislandy Lara debacle and Williams’ subsequent narrow-mindedness about the dynamics of boxing, “The Punisher” has gone from my next most anticipated star (a possible opponent for Mayweather) to being a gatekeeper that I’d be more than impressed to see dismantled by the competent young gun Alvarez.