LONDON – Britain’s Carl Froch stopped Romanian title holder Lucian Bute in the fifth round to claim the IBF world super-middleweight crown on Saturday.
The 34-year-old Froch’s comfortable victory over the unbeaten Bute in his home town of Nottingham, England made him a three-time world champion after his previous two WBC title wins.
Froch whose record is now 29-2, started brightly and had the 32-year-old Bute in trouble in the third round and again late in round four roared on by a raucous home crowd.
Bute, who came into the fight with a 30-0 record including 24 knockouts, was caught by a right hand in the fifth before a flurry of punches from Froch culminated in another right that forced Bute to hang on to the ropes.
Referee Earl Brown started a standing count but Bute’s corner came into the ring to save the Canadian-based fighter from further punishment.
“I came here more determined than I’ve ever been before,” Froch told Sky Sports. “I’ve been guilty of switching off in the past but tonight I’ve been very focused.”
Froch was fighting for the first time since losing in the final of the Super Six tournament against Andre Ward in December.