By Chris LaBate
With Mikkel Kessler heading in the direction of WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz, the IBF champion Lucian Bute (28-0, 23 KOs) is targeting a fight with former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik. Top Rank's CEO, Bob Arum, advised Pavlik's hometown paper, The Vindicator , that he begans negotiations for the fight on Friday. Top Rank has a close relationship with Bute's promoter, InterBox. The fight would take place in early November in either Montreal or Atlantic City.
"If Kelly wins, he's back on top of the heap," said Arum to the paper. "If he loses, but gives the crowd an incredible performance, he's still right in the mix. The people we're dealing with are really lovely people.
Pavlik's trainer, Jack Loew, told the paper that he spoke with Top Rank's head matchmaker Bruce Trampler, and gave his approval for Bute.
"I, myself, look forward to it," said Loew. "He's probably one of the best super middleweights in the world. He's left-handed, he's tall, he's strong, he goes well to the body and he packs it in, in Montreal. It'd be a hell of a trip to fight in Canada on major TV."
Bute has a scheduled defense against Jean Paul Mendy (29-0-1, 16 KOs) on July 9 in Romania. Pavlik won a ten round majority decision over Alfonso Lopez on May 7 in Las Vegas.