MONTREAL – Unbeaten International Boxing Federation (IBF) Super Middleweight Champion Lucian Bute (27-0, 22 KOs) and 168-pound contender Brian Magee (34-3-1, 24 KOs) showed each other great respect at Wednesday’s press conference from Boutique Videotron in Montreal, Canada leading up to their title bout on Saturday, March 19 on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from the Bell Centre in Montreal. The telecast will begin with the rebroadcast of the March 12 action-packed SHOWTIME PPV® fight between World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Welterweight champion Miguel Cotto and Ricardo Mayorga.
Bute, who signed with SHOWTIME in November 2010, is one of the most talented pound-for-pound and popular fighters of this era. He has won all but one of his title defenses by knockout, including four consecutive victories inside the distance.
The 35-year-old Magee has not lost since 2006 and is also riding an impressive streak of four consecutive knockouts. Magee has won six in a row and nine of 10 since his loss to Carl Froch of the Super Six World Boxing Classic, which returns to SHOWTIME in May.
In front of sea of local television cameras and eager reporters, Bute and Magee promised to do most of their talking inside the ring on Saturday night. Below are some highlights.
“The following I have here in Montreal is very important. They’ve been there from the beginning of my career. I feel great when I have them in my corner and they cheer my name and cheer me on. I want to thank them for being so loyal for so many years. I promise them a good performance Saturday night.
“It’s only the media that talks about [a possible fight with] Kessler, not me. I’m only concentrating on Saturday night, Brian Magee, a good performance and a win. I’ll worry about Kessler and anybody else after I win this fight.
“The fact that Kessler is going to be ringside [on Saturday at the Bell Centre] is not going to affect my performance at all. I have a plan to win this fight. I’ll have a good performance and the fact that he’s ringside really doesn’t matter to me.
“It’s a very big opportunity for me to be on SHOWTIME and I want to thank SHOWTIME for having me on. It’s a big opportunity for me to be seen by boxing fans in the United States.”
“I just want to thank everybody in Montreal for giving me such a great welcome. It’s good to be here. It’s good to be fighting. I’m looking forward to the fight. This is a good chance for [me]. [There are] lots of things on the horizon for [me], if I win. Lots of things for Lucian, so it’s a fight both of us have to win.”
On the world title shot…
“It’s massive for a fighter. I’ve worked hard to get here. What a big stage! You couldn’t have a bigger stage than to fight on SHOWTIME. I’m fighting the best in the division.
“Hopefully, I’ll be the new world champion. There’s no doubt about it, it’s going to be a hard fight. I’ll need to have the performance of my life but it’s a good position to be in, fighting for the world title.”
On the pro-Bute crowd of Montreal…
“At the end of the day, there are only two fighters in the ring. I’ve been an away fighter all my life so it doesn’t make a difference. I’m just so used it now, you know, it’s just the way things are.”
On how he plans to celebrate after the fight, should he be victorious…
“A pint of Guinness, of course. I’m looking forward to the Saint Patty’s Day parade in Montreal on Sunday.”
The event is promoted by InterBox. Steve Albert will call the action from ringside with Al Bernstein providing color commentary and Jim Gray serving as ringside reporter. David Dinkins Jr. is the executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports® with Ray Smaltz producing and Bob Dunphy directing.