01:30- The cleanup is underway in Nottingham and that is my cue to close the commentary. What an incredible night for Carl Froch. From the off, Froch was strong, dominant and prepared to take risks. His hands were heavy and he pounced on Bute like he was an over matched domestic nobody. But this was an undefeated 30 fight veteran and, what was supposed to be, too classier an operator for Froch. Where next? Will the brave Bute enforce his rematch clause or will Froch look to Kessler and Ward? That argument is for another day. Enjoy your night Froch fight fans- this was one for those who kept the faith through all the rubbish over the last few months. Goodnight!
Sarwar Hussain on Twitter: “Bute’s camp is classy. Full credit to them.”
Andre Ward (has clearly sorted his TV subscription) on Twitter: ”Well, what can you say?? Carl fought the right fight by pressing Bute & answering him whenever Bute did land, it worked!!”
Andrew Flintoff on Twitter: “Thanks @ClonesCyclone for tonight was a real honour to walk in with Carls belt !”
Lee on Twitter: “Carl Froch – 2012 BBC Sports Personality Of The Year? #vote“
01:10- Before we go I want to draw your attention to a video Froch recorded with ITV nearly four years ago. At the time Froch was the British champion and living very much in the shadow of Joe Calzaghe’s glory nights. I promise you, it’s worth a watch:
01:00- Don’t forget, Carl Froch was the man who couldn’t get his fights screened on TV three years ago as he was bitten by a combination of the recession and the boxing apathy in the UK. But now, everyone wants to be Carl’s best friend and why not? He is, without doubt, one of the finest boxers this country has ever produced. Incredible.
Andy Murray on Twitter: “Hugeeeee win from @Carl_Froch Total domination get in there!”
00:55- When I wrote my preview for this fight tonight I was worried that Froch’s last chance to secure that top-level legacy had already been and gone but I have to eat every single word I wrote. This was Lacy, and Tsyzu multiplied by 100. Staggering.
Boxing Fancast’s Chudi: “We live for nights/fights like this. Entertaining from start to finish”
Fabrice Muamba on Twitter: “Froch was to good and powerful for Bute. He couldn’t handle him tonight. The best fighter won tonight.”
00:50- Carl Froch was extraordinary tonight. Punch perfect performance? Probably. The only sour note was the bizarre Eddie Hearn cameo before the fight was officially waved off. As some have pointed out Froch, could, have been disqualified.
Sir Ian Botham (really!) on Twitter: ”I have just watched the best fight for a long time Carl Froch you deserve to be no 1….. Brilliant love to you and your family ..#thecobra“
Former Super Six contestant Andre Dirrell on Twitter: “WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD BUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Round 5: Carl Froch is an animal. Bute has got absolutely nothing in the tank and another ten (?) punch combination sees Bute stopped…surely? No! Eddie Hearn charges into the ring to hoist his man up high but the referee hasn’t actually stopped the fight! Hearn beats a hasty retreat but in all fairness this fight should not go on….IT’S OVER! Bute’s corner curtails the count and throws in the towel. Remarkable.
Boxing Fancast’s Chudi on Twitter: “Fuck me that was a CRAZY round! Froch has taken control of this fight. Wobbled Bute like mad”
Round 4: Bute lands a left despite still looking shaky. Froch has to be careful! The champion is better in this round but Froch does keep landing well. Final 30 seconds of the round and Froch has him on the ropes yet again. Just incredible from the former WBC belt holder. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 40-35 Froch
Danny Flexen on Twitter: “I agree with Jim Watt (Jesus!): that was a 10-8 round. 30-26 CF.”
Round 3: Nervy few moments for Froch as Bute looks to establish that left jab. Incredible from Froch, incredible onslaught! Maybe a dozen separate combinations have Bute doing a silly dance on more than one occasion. Froch is so strong in here but he can’t finish it. Can Froch complete the job? Can Bute recover in a minute? Boxing Fancast scorecard: 30-26 Froch (two point round for CF)
Mike Layzell on Twitter: “@23rdMan not going 12 rounds”
Former Olympian Dean Macey on Twitter: “Shaping up to be a right war! Come on @Carl_Froch”
Round 2- A lot being made of Froch’s ability to grind down opponents but remember only a spent Jermain Taylor has fallen foul of the Cobra since he moved to world level. Inside the ring, Bute lands two decent lefts but Froch lands a right that makes the champion hold on and lean into the ropes. Good work inside from Froch again and the Cobra lands three decent shots down the stretch to pocket another session. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 20-18 Froch
Round 1- Start quickly appears to be the message from everyone ringside. Froch lands a hurried right before both are warned for nothing in particular by the referee. Froch lands another decent left right on Bute’s chin but we see enough of the famed Romanian-Canadian’s left-hook to the body to be nervous. Froch bags the first session though. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 10-9 Froch
00:20- Bute receives some healthy boos as he is introduced to the crowd- excitement doesn’t appear to cover it. Here we go…
00:19- Froch receives a clumsy massage from one of his brothers as he bounces around getting ready for this to get started. Three years away from Nottingham- will it be the defining performance of Froch’s career or a deflating one?
00:15- National anthem time. Get your beer on ice we are minutes away now…
Scott Christ on Twitter: “When two top fighters face one another, someone loses. #boxing“
00:14- Both men inside the ring and look ready to rock. I have to say the Bute reception was not as frosty as some had forecast tonight. I am told there are approaching 1,000 Bute fans in the arena tonight so that might explain that.
00:12- Cheers, Fabrice- you read my mind. The bookies have Bute a very strong favourite tonight and as he follows Froch to the ring will he be regretting his decision to fight in the challenger’s back garden?
Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba on Twitter: “Anyone watching the fight let me know your predictions.”
Mike Layzell on Twitter: “goosebumps on the Froch entrance #amazing“
00:08- Trainer Robert McCraken is whispering some final words to his charge before Froch makes that walk to the ring. I have to say I think McCraken has had the look of a man who feels this is a bridge too far for ‘The Cobra’. Who knows though?
Sky Sports’ Fraser Dainton on Twitter: “COME ON THE COBRA!!!!”
00:03- I have to confess, I do not fancy Carl Froch’s chances tonight. Nevertheless, there appear a fair few big names tipping Nottingham’s finest to do the business. Former Froch foe Mikkel Kessler is confident that the Brit can bring out a career best performance tonight.
00:00- The witching hour is upon us. While we wait the minutes before Carl Froch and Lucian Bute take centre stage, why not have a read of my preview?
23:55- So, easy in the end for Frampton who is now the IBF inter-continental champion. The three scorecards read 120-108 and 119-109 twice. Decent workout in the end. Froch is a few minutes away now…
Round 12- Maybe not the show some were expecting but Frampton has decided to come out to play down these championship rounds. A first real roar from the crowd welcomes some decent work from ‘The Jackal’ but Hirales is not going anywhere and deserves credit for coming to Nottingham to fight- Frampton has just been a little too cute. Shared final round? Boxing Fancast scorecard: 119-113
Round 11- Hirales gets another talking to from Howard Foster before resuming his night’s work. Exciting stuff from both men. Hirales is given a chance to throw some solid shots to the body but Frampton, stung by a docile round and a half, throws three or four combinations that stop the Mexican- possibly for the first time tonight. Frampton round. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 109-103 Frampton
Scott Christ (Bad Left Hook) on Twitter: Frampton has clearly won this fight, but I renew my belief that Quigg would slaughter him. Fight’s been sorely disappointing. #boxing
Round 10- Maybe the dullest round of the fight so far. Both men are tiring a touch and Frampton does not want to open that cut up any further. Decent shot from Hirales to the body is the highlight of the session and even though he receives a warning for hitting on the break, Hirales steals the round. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 99-94 Frampton
Andre Ward on Twitter is not happy with his TV stream: “Epix is acting up & the links are not dependable.”
Round 9- If he didn’t need one before, Hirales is going to have to force a stoppage here. The Mexican is just unable to change the pattern of this fight. A drop or two of blood becomes visible on the face of Frampton and I’m not sure that came from a fist… Frampton emerges from his shell and starts chasing Hirales as if to punish his opponent for that cut. Difficult to count hurtful shots from either men but once again Frampton looks in control. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 90-83 Frampton
Round 8- Hirales gets another ticking off for using his head in close- Frampton does not need a cut at this stage to complicate matters. Finally Frampton lands a multiple shot combination but Hirales is tougher than Bernard Hopkins’ running shoes and he barely registers a flicker on the face of the Mexican. This is the most comfortable round of the night for Frampton despite a single shot from Hirales in the closing seconds. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 80-74 Frampton
Round 7- Here we go, second half of the fight- will Frampton start to switch on the fireworks? So far the pattern of the first half-dozen rounds remains in place. Hirales is fit and able to chase Frampton all night but the only scoring shots are those coming from ‘The Jackal’. Another edgy round. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 70-65 Frampton
Round 6- The criticism of Frampton at this stage appears to be a reluctance to throw more than single shots at Hirales but to be fair to both men, Hirales is proving a more than willing foe. Frampton lands a decent right in the final minute which might just about give the Northern Irishman the round but this is not an explosive performance by an stretch. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 60-56 Frampton
Former Chelsea and Leeds footballer Jody Morris on Twitter: “Khans suit combo???”
Round 5- Hirales, travelling abroad for the first time, appears to know that he can’t let Frampton dance around all night. Clearly the Mexican, like many experts, anticipated some more fire from the prospect. Hirales continues struggle to land cleanly, however, I fancy they may have shared that round. The pair end the session hugging on the canvas after a slip. Not an easy night by any stretch. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 50-47 Frampton
Round 4- Hirales is looking for gaps in the Frampton defence but thus far it has been exemplary. ‘The Jackal’ is a little too untidy through the middle minute of the round and is punished for it but he opens up sufficiently down the final seconds of the session to put a smile on the face of manager Barry McGuigan. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 40-37 Frampton
Round 3- Frampton is refusing to be drawn into a slug fest and Hirales is a little agitated that his foe is being so evasive. The Mexican catches Frampton with a left but his work rate isn’t really being rewarded at this stage. Another really tight session but Frampton’s brain probably just gets him the nod. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 30-28 Frampton
Former England and Essex cricketer Ronnie Irani on Twitter: “I so hope Carl Froch pulls this off in front of home crowd. He deserves it! Opponent Bute is a hard hitter with a dodgy nose.”
Round 2- Interestingly, Carl Frampton had former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff carry his belts into the ring for him, sure Freddie would have fancied tonight. Back inside the ring, Hirales and Frampton exchange shots but neither appear worried by what is coming back. Howard Foster, tonight’s referee, warns Hirales for his head positioning but no serious trouble at this stage. Both men unload wildly during the final 15 second of the round. Nothing of note lands from either and I reckon Hirales has done enough to share the session. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 20-19 Frampton
Round 1- Both men know that the other has some serious firepower in their back pocket and are understandably reluctant to show too much too early. Frampton looks marginally the busier at this point but Hirales is showing a desire to walk his man down. Edgy opener but Frampton landed just enough to pocket it. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 10-9 Frampton
23:00- Back in Nottingham, both Frampton and Hirales are ready to roll. Frampton would love a show tonight…
22:57- Both men have made a muted journey to the ring and we are but a couple of minutes from the off. Elsewhere, Audley Harrison has stopped Ali Adams inside four rounds of their heavyweight clash at the Brentwood Centre. I guess you can say he’s on the comeback trail…
22:55- While we wait for Frampton and Hirales to make their ring walks I can fill you in on a bit of housekeeping. First, I’d like to draw your attention to our fledgling Facebook page. If you pop your thoughts and predictions on there, we can get the night bubbling along nicely. If you’re using Twitter, tweet me or Boxing Fancast directly or use the hashtag #BoxingFancast.
22:50- My name is Cameron Sharpe and I will be guiding you through what will also be a big night for another Carl. Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton fights fellow unbeaten super-bantamweight Raul Hirales. Frampton’s manager Barry McGuigan spoke to me a few weeks back and he expects his charge to be explosive tonight.
22.47- Good evening and welcome to what could be a massive night for British boxing. If Carl Froch can find a way to topple undefeated IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute in Nottingham, it could go down as one of the great nights in British boxing history. Alas, it is a pretty big if.
22.45- Ricky Hatton Vs Kostya Tszyu- 2005. Joe Calzaghe Vs Jeff Lacy- 2006. Carl Froch Vs Lucian Bute 2012?
Get more great boxing news and analysis over at Boxing Fancast.