By Jake Donovan
Unbeaten super middleweight titlist Lucian Bute is still working on details for his next fight. The opponent and date (Carl Froch, April 14) have been targeted, but have yet to finalize the fight.
What remains equally unclear is whether his next fight will take place on Showtime.
“We sought two opponents Andre Ward and Carl Froch. Bute is 31 and wants to pursue the biggest fights possible,” Jean Bedard, Interbox president, stated during a media conference call Friday morning. We’ve been advised that Andre Ward is not available due to injury. The next logical choice is Carl Froch.
“After speaking to trainers and sponsors, we all agreed that we have to do everything in our power to make the fight with Froch. Unfortunately the TV network does not share our same vision.”
Bute (30-0, 24KO) signed a three-fight deal with the American network in 2011, with the hopes of matching the native Romanian – now fighting primarily out of Canada – with the winner of its Super Six tournament.
Once Ward took himself out of the mix while allowing his badly injured hand to heal, Bute’s team set their sights on Froch, who lost to Ward in the finals but had also beaten five consensus Top 10 opponents in his previous six fights prior to that point. A loss to Mikkel Kessler in March ’10 interrupted what would’ve been a legitimate pound-for-pound run by the Brit.
For the moment, it’s unclear of the direction Showtime intends to head with Bute, as there remains one more fight on their current contract.
“We are in ongoing and meaningful discussions with InterBox,” informed Chris DeBlasio, Showtime vice president of Communications. “Beyond that, we don’t typically comment publically while we are in talks with promoters about upcoming events.”
Bute will be making the 10th defense of the alphabet belt he acquired more than four years ago after stopping Alejandro Berrio in the 11th round of their title fight in Quebec, Canada. The majority of Bute’s defenses have taken place in his adopted homeland of Canada, where he often plays to sold-out crowds.
Given his popularity north of the US border, it makes sense for future fights to be housed there, regardless of opponent. However, Bute is not entirely married to the idea of every super fight taking place in his backyard.
“My objective is still to fight the winner of the Super Six, which is Andre Ward,” Bute confirmed. “This has not changed. I hear he’s not available to fight in April. I will give him time to rest and then my plan is to fight him anywhere in the world.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected].com