How are your preparations for Lucien Bute on Saturday?
I’m always trained by Jim McDonnell. [Lucien Bute] is a tall southpaw. He’s got weird movement. We’ve been working on that in the gym. He’s got a good left hand. He likes to box at his own pace, if you give him his own space that’s when he’s good. But stick him on his toes, close the gap quick, he don’t like it. All of his fights, look at [Carl] Froch exposed him, he’s still a good fighter, a very good fighter, but it shows you how to beat him. [Against Librado] Andrade you got little glimpses of him under pressure and he didn’t really like it. Even against [Jean] Pascal, he got outboxed really by Pascal for the first 10 rounds.
He says he’s injury free and whatever – I’m too young, I’m too fresh, I’ve just come off the best win of my career [against Andre Dirrell to win the IBF super-middleweight crown], winning a world title and making history. I’m confident, I’ve chosen to go to Canada. It just shows you how confident I am and how winning the world title, making history, it’s made me a different fighter. Jim says it makes you a different fighter, it makes you a better fighter.
Were you nervous during the Dirrell fight?
It was a bit nerve-wracking then. But if you listen to the American commentary, Sugar Ray Leonard, he was giving me ratings I couldn’t believe it and, if you listen, they said James DeGale finished stronger, he wants it more. After six they had me up. It’s only seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th, I did let him in… I think Al Haymon’s PBC shows are fair.
Do you feel like you need to stop Bute?
I need to stop him. If I win a points victory, people are going to go, ‘Carl Froch stopped him.’ He’s been stopped. If I don’t stop him and look good it’s going to be a bit like a loss, because people are going to expect it. Really, I don’t have to take this. He’s had a right touch, hasn’t he? Because I’m giving him the chance. I didn’t have to do this for him. It’s only because I think it’s a good name on paper, he was world champion for a long time.
I’m going over to Canada. He’s never been stopped in Canada. He’s only lost once [there] to Pascal but he’s never lost in Quebec. I keep watching that Froch fight and I watch his last fight, he didn’t look too good. He doesn’t throw too many punches, if you give him space, he looks alright, he looks good and if I do that I will let him into the fight. I’m not going to do that. I’m going to start fast and throw a lot of shots. But be clever with it. I can’t be stupid and wild. I’ll do it intelligently.