By Richard Cloutier
Montreal, Canada - On the sidelines of a briefing given by InterBox at the Centre Claude-Robillard, BoxingScene.com\Netboxe.com met with the President of InterBox, Jean Bédard, on the eve of Lucian Bute's departure for his mandatory defense of the IBF super middleweight title against Jean Paul Mendy in Bucharest, Romania. Bedard gave us an update on the various projects involving InterBox in the coming months.
Bedard told BoxingScene - "Currently, Lucian is 100% focused on Mendy, and so is his coach Stephan Larouche. But it is normal that a promoter is interested in what happens next and talks about an upcoming fight. The first thing Lucian will ask me the day after his fight on July 9 is - 'What we do now.'
"For our part, we have a lot of pressure from Showtime, because right now, we fighting as part of the fall television schedule. For them, these dates are important and they need to know what they are televising and when it will happen. So we already have some pressure to establish the next fight for Lucian. It is important to understand that whether Lucian wins or loses in Romania, we have another fight with Showtime this fall. This is not necessarily contingent on his victory."
"We made an offer to face Kelly Pavlik and it is pending. Pavlik's team wants him to have another fight in August, before fighting against Lucian. They have even asked for a date on Showtime, which would be part of a two fight agreement. Pavlik would commit to fighting in August and then also against Lucian Bute in November. This is the best scenario. Also, since very few people want to come and fight here in Quebec, against Lucian Bute, we told Top Rank that we would be willing to go and fight in Atlantic City - as long as it makes sense financially."
What is the scenario, should the battle against Kelly Pavlik fall through?
"There is also Glen Johnson. He just had a great performance against Carl Froch. But our number one priority is Kelly Pavlik. He's a brave guy who gets knockouts and gives a good show. Also, we still want to raise Lucian's profile in the United States. If Pavlik goes through, it would be better than Glen Johnson."
InterBox had raised the possibility of presenting a event in October in Quebec, involving Pier-Olivier Côté. What is the status of this possibility?
"Lucian Bute for Interbox is like Manny Pacquiao to Top Rank. You fix your boxer on the calendar and you build around him. Indeed for Pier-Olivier Côté, there are plans and I can tell you that he is in demand. He will be in Romania. In addition, we had a discussion with Top Rank about the show in August, and two things were mentioned."
"We discussed the possibility of Renan St-Juste being the opponent for Kelly Pavlik. The other thing is, I was asked if Pier-Olivier Côté is available for this [August] event. They like that idea. This is a guy who always gives a good show, so we'll see what will happen in Romania."
Renan St-Juste, is the current champion of the NABO at super middleweight and the number two contender in the WBO. Previously he was mentioned as the comeback opponent for Mikkel Kessler but the Danish boxer went forward with another opponent.