By Chris LaBate
He couldn't secure Mikkel Kessler or Kelly Pavlik, but IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute was able to bag former champion Glen Johnson for a scheduled defense on November 5th, possibly in Quebec City. Bute (29-0, 24 KOs) and his entourage are relieved that InterBox was able to finalize a deal for a November opponent. Bute knows Johnson (51-15-2, 35 KOs) very well, because the two of them had sparred with each other several times.
"I'm glad it was completed. I came back from Romania last week and I didn't know who I was going to box against. [Johnson] is a very good opponent, a former champion and he faced the world's best during his career, and I know he has a lot of experience," said Bute to Eric LeBlanc.
"Our goal remains to prove that I belong among the best. I still want to face the winner of the Super Six tournament, but it's one fight at a time. I am ready to face all the boxers who participated in this tournament to show my value to people and also that I deserve to be considered the best super middleweight in the world."
Jean Bédard, President of InterBox, also expects a tough test for Bute.
"We think it will be a good test for Lucian especially since [Johnson] has not been knocked out since 1997 against Bernard Hopkins. He is strong and he just had a good fight against Carl Froch. He was the number one choice when Pavlik [walked] but I keep finding it difficult to find opponents who want to fight Lucian," said Bédard