By Luke Furman
Former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (31-1, 24KOs) is moving away further from pursuing a rematch with the current IBF king Carl Froch. Bute was destroyed by Froch in five rounds in May of 2012, but the Canadian star has a rematch clause.
Bute and Froch have already taken interim-bouts since their clash, and both sides are making plans for further interim-fights. Froch is likely going to face WBA "regular" champion Mikkel Kessler in a rematch or make a mandatory defense of his IBF crown against Adonis Stevenson. Bute was looking at the possibility of fighting Kelly Pavlik, but a new opportunity has come up. A entire new direction is taking shape and it may postpone the Froch rematch for an extended period of time.
Bute's promoter, InterBox, have spoken with the World Boxing Council (WBC) and confirmed their boxer's position for a major title shot.
The WBC title, currently held by Andre Ward, will become vacant because Ward is going to need several months of rehab after recently undergoing shoulder surgery. Ward will be promoted to the status "champion emeritus" - while Sakio Bika (30-5-2, 21 KOs) and Nikola Sjekloca (25-0, 7 KOs) will collide for the "interim-title' on February 16th at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The winner of this fight will be required to face Bute, ranked at three, for the full vacant crown no later than mid-May.
"This is what the WBC spoke to us about. This is definitely a good option and it interests us. Nothing has been finalized, but I spoke with Lucian and he agrees with this direction. This is the best option for us at this time. Winning the WBC belt will present us with beautiful options........there would be a fight against Andre Ward, or a unification bout against Carl Froch," confirmed the president of InterBox, Jean Bédard in an interview with Gabriel Beland of La Presse.
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org