Feature Story

Bute eyeing New York invasion

By Dave Spencer / Fightnews Canada

After establishing himself as a star in both his native Romania and his adopted homeland of Canada, IBF super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute plans to take on New York for 2012 figuring if he can make it there, he can make it anywhere. “Lucian definitely wants to fight in the U.S. in 2012, and we will help him the best way we can to make it happen,” said Bute’s promoter Jean Bedard of Interbox who will be in the Big Apple this weekend, not only to take in the Cotto-Margarito fight but also to plan out logistics for a possible fight there for his undefeated 168-pounder. “One of his goals in 2011 was to fight in Romania but like I told him before he left to go home, I don’t think we’ll have an offer to fight in the U.S. from another promoter, in the past seven years I’ve only received one offer to fight outside Canada.”

Given the lack of invitations, Bedard feels that Interbox will have to be actively involved in any promotion south of Canadian border. “We will probably have to be involved in the promotion of that fight, I don’t know how exactly, but that’s why I’m going to New York this weekend. To see how things are going, how it works, see the venue, see the smaller theatre in Madison Square Gardens. I want to find out all the details so I have an idea of all the opportunities that might exist there. There’s a big Romanian community that exists in New York and it’s not that far from the present fan base of Lucian.

“We’ll go there but I think we’ll have to be involved and not wait for an offer from another promoter. There’s a good buzz in New York right now for boxing and that’s what I want to see in person. Fighting there you get more media exposure than you would in Canada and for the broadcaster it’s easier to promote and broadcast as well. We believe that now is the time although you never know in boxing. We believe it’s the best place because it’s close to our main market so right now it’s perfect.”

Bedard is looking at a possible April date and if he gets his wish, against the eventual winner of Showtime’s Super-Six tournament that sees its conclusion on December 17th between Andre Ward and Carl Froch.

“If it’s Froch it’s probably best if we do it on neutral territory, it might be the better way to do it” said Bedard. “It’s probably the same if it’s Ward, he probably won’t want to come to here in Canada. That’s why some place like New York makes sense. We’ve been very focused on fighting the winner for the past two years, we want to fight the winner of the Super-Six and that’s where we are right now. We’re not looking at a ‘plan B’ right now, we’re focussed on December 17th and from there we’re going to try and fight the winner, and if that’s not the case, maybe the loser might be a good opponent.”

One anomaly for Interbox is that one of it’s other promoted super-middleweights, Renan St-Juste might actually get a crack at the winner before Bute. St-Juste takes on Anthony Dirrell in a fight tonight (Friday) in a bout that is for the mandatory challenger for the WBC belt currently held by Ward. “They (the winner) might have to fight Renan before Lucian gets to him, that’s the funny part, you know more than me that it never is a straight line in boxing.”

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