Froch: Bute may have to retire
Carl Froch fears he may have ended Lucian Bute's career after delivering a "devastating beating" which ended his opponent's unbeaten record.
The Englishman snatched Bute's IBF super-middleweight title with a superb fifth-round stoppage in Nottingham last 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 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, it really would. I'll let Eddie Hearn (Froch's promoter) see where we go from here.
"That's a fight I would take in a heartbeat."
Froch, whose record now reads 29-2 with 21 knockout wins, certainly sent an emphatic message to his two rivals at the Capital FM Arena in his home city of Nottingham.
He won a steady first round and ended the second with an excellent right-hand left-hook combination.
Froch roared into life in the third, wobbling Bute and having his opponent almost out on his feet with a succession of ferocious shots.
The fourth was similarly brutal as both men traded hurtful blows. Froch came out on top again, though, and Bute was only saved by the bell.
Bute was still floundering when the fifth round began. A right hand rocked his head back sickeningly and another, after several unanswered shots, meant only the ropes were holding him up.
Referee Earl Brown began administering a count - the crowd believed he had called it off - but Bute's corner entered the ring to spare their man further punishment and leave him with a record of 30-1 (24KOs).