Froch versus Bute: No easy way out.

Carl Froch and Lucian Bute at the weigh in Credit: ITV Central

The build up is over. The pre-fight talk, the weigh in, the eye to eye photo shoots. It's all been exciting and entertaining. But now the real deal is just hours away. Froch versus Bute. Former World champion versus current World champion.

It would be easy to say this is the biggest fight of Froch's career, and that would perhaps be an over statement.

For that, you'd have to go back to his career-defining World title victory over Jean Pascal.

But this is pretty close.

Carl Froch is wounded having lost to Andre Ward, and he has a point to prove. It's clear from the many times he and I have spoken in recent weeks that as much as he wishes it wouldn't, that defeat clearly plays on his mind.

But hopefully that frustration, at having underperformed in arguably his highest profile fight will only spur him on to victory over Lucian Bute.

Froch in training Credit: ITV Central

Froch is as fit as ever, he tells me that if ever he worries age is slowing him down he forces himself to complete one of his Nottingham runs faster than ever before, he's 34, but clearly in his mind and it seems body he is 34 years young.

Bute is a very different fighter to anything Carl has come across before, a left hander, but Carl has tailored his training to cope with this. And of course Froch has the whole of Nottingham on his side.

He must be careful to use that roaring support to allow him to grow in stature but not make him over confident. Carl is durable, patience will play a big part, no one expects an early round knock out.

Carl has been sparring with TeamGB's Olympic boxers in the weeks leading up to this World title fight, but the Cobra doesn't want medals, he just wants that red IBF belt and a third World title. And for a man who is so proud of his home city, there is no better time or place to do it.