By Luke Furman
Promoter Jean Bedard of InterBox is currently in negotiations with Top Rank to secure Kelly Pavlik as the next opponent for former super middleweight champion Lucian Bute. Pavlik was scheduled to fight WBC/WBA champion Andre Ward, who fell out due to a shoulder injury. Bute has a rematch clause to face IBF champion Carl Froch, but the English boxer is close to a deal to face WBA "regular" king Mikkel Kessler.
"We are still waiting to see if the fight between Froch and Kessler will take place. Eddie Hearn [Froch's promoter] asked us for permission to negotiate with Kessler and we accepted, provided that an interesting scenario comes about for us and Pavlik is that. Cameron Duncan, manager for Pavlik, has already confirmed that Arthur Abraham and Lucian are the two candidates for the upcoming fight of his protégé," said Bedard to QMI Agency.
"Since Wednesday, we have been in contact with Pavlik's team. If we do not face Froch in our next outing, Pavlik is a serious candidate. And we have been interested in him for a long time. "
Pavlik (40-2, 34 KOs) was set to fight Bute (31-1, 24 KOs) in 2011, but Pavlik's personal problems and a monetary dispute with Top Rank caused the match to fall apart.
"We had a contract, but he declined with less than a week before an interim-fight [against Darryl Cunningham, August 6, 2011 in Ohio] to prevent rust before getting into the ring against Lucian. We have had discussions with Top Rank, but we still have our rematch clause with Froch. We know that the English TV prefer Kessler over us. From our side, it does not bother us as we can agree Froch face again."
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org