Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Lucian Bute Remains Boxing’s Ultimate Feel Good Story

By Jake Donovan

In a stretch where it seemed to be one disappointing news item after another, Lucian Bute once again helps give the sport a much need shot in the arm.

The unbeaten super middleweight titlist has been on quite a roll thus far in 2012, all while having yet to step foot in the ring. In a calendar year littered with bad news, Bute continues to make headlines for all of the right reasons.

The most recent piece of good news came late Monday afternoon when the Romania-born star gained full citizenship in his adopted homeland of Canada.

“I just experienced one of the most important moments of my life,” Bute stated after being one of 30 participants to gain Canadian citizenship during the ceremony. “I have been preparing for this moment for the past five years. I felt like a true Quebecker and Canadian long ago, but today I am proud to obtain my Canadian citizenship.”

There’s good reason for Bute (30-0, 24KO) to have long ago felt at home. Canada has for years served as a boxing hotbed. Its popularity continues to grow as the sport continues to struggle in identity beyond the elite level on the U.S. side of the border.

Bute serves at the forefront when the conversation is the nation’s most popular fighters. Sold-out crowds aren’t the goal but the expectation when the talented southpaw is the headliner. It’s why all but five of his pro fights to date have taken place in Quebec City since relocating from his native Romania nine years ago.

Even with that in mind, Bute remains a team player amongst a sport of individuals.

American cable giant Showtime signed the rising superstar to a three-fight deal, an indirect acknowledgement that he clearly belonged in its Super Six World Boxing Classic. The understanding was that Bute would be made available for the tournaments winner, a role the long-reigning titlist was willing to honor regardless of how the finals played out.

“I am ready to fight the winner," said Bute while in town during fight week leading into the finale between Andre Ward and Carl Froch in Atlantic City. "If Carl Froch wins, I'm ready to fight in Nottingham to make this fight happen. And if it's Ward, I can go to Oakland."

The winner turned out to be Ward, which in theory should have served as a matchmaker’s dream.

Instead, the post-fight press conference produced everyone’s worst nightmare.

"To be perfectly honest, no disrespect to Bute and his team, but they've sat back and they've fought B-level and C-level guys and he did what he was supposed to do," Ward said to the assembled media during the post-fight presser. "[H]e's just been sitting back, waiting, while we've been fighting for the past two and a half years against top-level competition.

"So I don't have to go to Lucian Bute right now. We're going to sit back and I'm going to rest and we'll see what's next. I think I earned the right to pick the right fight for the right price.”
 
Bute wasted no time in moving forward with Plan B. His preference was Ward, but would gladly settle for Froch, who – even in defeat – was still high among the best super middleweights in the world.

Once again, Bute’s good intentions were met by poor logic from others intended to be involved.

In theory, a fight with Froch makes the most sense for Showtime given the circumstances. Ward is out for an unspecified amount of time due to a hand injury suffered in the championships last December. Mikkel Kessler – who dropped out of the tournament in 2010 – continues a stop-and-start relationship with the injured list.

That leaves Froch, who throughout the Super Six tournament remained the one contestant willing to take on all comers. Both fighters agreed on terms long ago; all that was needed was a network.

Showtime decided to not serve as that point man.

“After speaking to trainers and sponsors, we all agreed that we have to do everything in our power to make the fight with Froch,” revealed Jean Bedard during a media conference call earlier in the year. “Unfortunately (Showtime) does not share our same vision.”

Bute and his handlers decided that the fighter’s popularity alone was enough to make the fight happen and that a TV network would eventually follow. Sign now, worry about coverage later.

With that came the good news that the best available super middleweight fight to be made was in fact signed and sealed. Not only is the fight a done deal for May 26, but that Bute agreed to travel to Froch’s backyard of Nottingham, England.

Conceding home field advantage was huge for Bute, considering his ability to pack ‘em in whether it’s Canada or Romania. Froch’s fan base is only still growing back home. The irony is that it will take a win over a fighter like Bute for Froch to see a fan base one day grow to his opponent’s level.

Building up Froch’s following was hardly the reason for Bute to persist on fighting the Brit and in his hometown, however. It’s because he genuinely enjoys serving as a champion of the people. Many in the industry toss around the “people’s champion” term, but are just as quick to stop short and instead admit that it needs to make dollars in order to make sense.

Bute’s mere ring presence serves as his ability to make dollars, as evidenced by the crowds he has packed into Canada over the course of his nine-year career. His popularity has been further magnified since becoming a titlist in 2007, with all but one of his nine defenses coming in Quebec City.

The lone “road” appearance was in fact in Romania, honoring his heritage. Bute remains a proud Romanian at heart, but has shown the ultimate appreciation for the nation that has long ago adopted him as its own.

Monday’s ceremony made it official.

“My origins are Romanian, but it is important to me to implicate myself fully in my adopted Country of Canada,” Bute said in celebrating dual citizenship. “I am very lucky to have been received so well in this Country since I set foot here for good in 2003.  It is my choice to live here and it makes me happy to know I am a real Canadian citizen now.”

The news came at the right time, as the sport was forced to contend with a sea of bad news. Yet another controversial outcome was produced from a major televised fight in Texas. The death of boxing historian Bert Sugar still leaves an entire industry shaken.

While bad news travels in bunches, there’s always that one feel good story to help turn things around.

As he been doing for as long as he has become a household name and in more than one country, Lucian Bute once again delivered big time in that regard.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter:@JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]

Tags: Lucian Bute image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by ShoulderRoll on 03-29-2012

[QUOTE=Dirk Diggler UK;11948901]Thats some of the weakest sh1t I ever heard. Ward hurt his hand didn't he? Why didn't he just say he can't fight cos of his bad hand?[/QUOTE] He did hurt his hand which is why he has…

Comment by Dirk Diggler UK on 03-29-2012

[QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;11948800]He said that he won't fight Bute right away, because it's not right that he just waltzes in to fight the winner of a grueling tournament. But once Bute gets one or two tough fights under his belt the fight…

Comment by ShoulderRoll on 03-29-2012

[QUOTE=WesTbog;11945555]The Super Six winner made it clear right after he won that he won't fight Bute. How does Showtime expects Bute to fight Ward when Ward doesn't want Bute right now. :damnit1:[/QUOTE] He said that he won't fight Bute right…

Comment by turbotime on 03-29-2012

I felt good about it.

Comment by -Hyperion- on 03-29-2012

[QUOTE=Gypsy John Fury;11943068]Yeah, how does this warrant as an "ultimate feel good story"?! Was expecting to read that Bute was once a beaten orphan or something!![/QUOTE] lulz.....same....

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (25)
Top Headlines Usyk-Hunter, Gvozdyk-Gonzalez Added To Lomachenko-Sosa British Boxing News: Flanagan-Petrov, Skeete-Singleton, Jay Harris Holyfield Joins PBC Broadcast Team For Wilder-Washington WBC Outlines, Explains The 'Clean Boxing' Drug Testing Program Hughie Fury On Verge of Losing Parker Shot, Must Sign Contract Dmitry Bivol Pounds, Stops Robert Berridge in Four Rounds Tony Bellew: I Want To Be Out Of Boxing Within 12 Months Izu Ugonoh on Signing His Deal With Al Haymon Wilder Aims To Send Message With Statement KO of Washington Jacobs' Adviser: Golovkin Will Pay on 3/18 for Canelo Negotiations Chavez Jr: Canelo Alvarez is Afraid of Gennady Golovkin! Frank Warren: I Strongly Fancy Walsh To Beat Gervonta Davis Braekhus Feels Refreshed With New Team, Plans For Showcase Joe Ham To Fight For Belt On Burns vs. Indongo Card De La Hoya: Canelo Would Beat Mayweather 'Easy' in Rematch! Luke Campbell Hopes To Get a Crack at Mikey Garcia's Title Chavez: I've Fought Better Opponents Than Canelo, I Can't Lose! Angel Garcia and The New York State Athletic Commission Horn's Promoter Will Wait To See How Pacquiao-Khan Plays Out Sullivan Barrera Denies Receiving Contract For Beterbiev Fight Arum Skeptical of $38M Offer to Bring Pacquiao-Khan to the UAE Roy Jones Jr. Wants Anderson Silva on Mayweather-McGregor NSAC Director Doubts Canelo-Chavez "Bet" Will Push Through Pacquiao Announces He is Negotiating With Khan for Next Fight Photo: Dmitry Bivol vs. Robert Berridge – Official Weigh-In Sanchez Adjusts Golovkin's Sparring Schedule For Jacobs Fight Emmanuel Rodriguez-Omar Narvaez Moves To March 11 SHO Bill Photos: Deontay Wilder, Gerald Washington Open Workouts Haye Wants Steel Fence To Avoid Violent Bust-Up With Bellew Miguel Flores Makes No Excuses After TKO Loss To Dat Nguyen Canelo: Chavez Jr. Accepted Our Bet, He Better Honor It After Loss! Shannon Briggs vs. Fres Oquendo Deal is Reached Oner: Avni Yildirim Too Strong, Will Take Teeth of David Benavides Adrian Granados Will Be Back on Showtime, Says Manager Cautious Chavez Certain He’ll Make 164.5 for Canelo Fight Michael Perez vs. Marcelino Lopez Tops ESPN2 Bill on April 20 Broner-Granados Fight Peaked at 859,000 Viewers on Showtime Canelo Plans To Vacate WBO Title, Fight at 160 - After Chavez Bout Joe Gallagher: Liam Smith Expects Tough Fight With Williams Izu Ugonoh: I Have To Be at My Best To Beat Dominic Breazeale
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement