By Rick Reeno
If Lucian Bute (24-0, 19KOs) is successful in defending his IBF super middleweight title when he meets Librado Andrade next week in Quebec, he will entertain offers from both HBO and Showtime. Several of Bute's fights have been televised on Showtime, including the first fight with Andrade. The Andrade rematch takes place on HBO.
Showtime has the high hand because the bulk of the super middleweight talent is involved in their ongoing Super Six tournament. BoxingScene.com was informed that Bute is very interested in the Super Six tournament. In order to participate, one of the combatants in the Super Six will have to be sidelined or withdraw from the tournament. Jermain Taylor has not officially made any announcement regarding his future involvement in the Super Six. Pursuant to the Super Six schedule, Taylor would face Andre Ward in the second round of competition. I anticipate an official decision in the coming days.
While Showtime has the talent locked in, Bute may have to wait a while to fight any of those names. HBO is interested in Bute and provided he wins in Quebec, his camp will discuss future appearances with the network. Because most of the names at 168 are under contract with Showtime, Bute will need some recognizable names to make an HBO run. One possibility that I've heard mentioned is a fight down the line with WBO/WBC middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik - if Pavlik decides to move up in weight next year. Another possibility is Bute moving up in weight for a fight with WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson.