Undefeated 168-pound titleholder Lucian Bute, THE RING’s No. 1-rated super middleweight, has signed a multi-fight agreement with Showtime, the premium cable network announced on Friday.
The announcement, made by Ken Hershman, the head of Showtime’s boxing programming, and Bute’s promoter Jean Bedard, at a press conference in Las Vegas, is good news for fight fans who wish to see the Canada-based Romanian southpaw battle the best super middleweights in the world.
With the network’s ongoing Super Six World Boxing Classic, which includes the some of the top active fighters in the division, Bute is afforded a number of potential matchups on Showtime.
The remaining tournament participants all have high-stakes bouts in the coming weeks: Allan Green-Glen Johnson (Sat., Nov. 6), Carl Froch-Arthur Abraham (Sat., Nov. 27 for a vacant title) and beltholder Andre Ward against non-tournament contender Sakio Bika, (Sat., Nov. 27).
Bute ’s first fight in the new deal will be scheduled for the first quarter of 2011 against an opponent to be announced.
“We are very excited for Lucian Bute to rejoin us on Showtime,” said Hershman. “In the next six weeks alone, Showtime will feature a virtual who’s who of the most talented and accomplished champions at both 168 and 175 pounds. Lucian’s entrance into that mix is sure to deliver even more thrilling, closely matched fights in 2011 to our network subscribers.”
“It’s a real honor for me to be given this opportunity to face the top fighters of my division on the premium television network Showtime. I want to prove that I’m the best super middleweight in the world and this opportunity will allow me do just that,” stated Bute, who gladly put his vacation in Romania on hold to announce this signing and to meet the press in Las Vegas. “I want to thank Jean Bedard and Ken Hershman for getting this deal done. I could not be happier or more proud.”