Lucian Bute won’t say much about who he might fight after his title defense against Brian Magee in Montreal, Quebec, on Saturday, but the undefeated super middleweight beltholder is willing to give his thoughts on the semifinals of Showtime’s Super Six World Boxing Classic tournament.
Boxing writers asked Bute if he wanted to face the Super Six winner or Mikkel Kessler later in the year during a recent conference call for his Showtime-televised bout against Magee, but the Montreal-based Romanian insisted that he is only focused on the rugged Irish veteran that he will face on Saturday.
“I’m really concentrated on Brian Magee,” Bute, the IBF titleholder, said through a translator at the start of the conference call. “I’ll worry about other opponents after I win this fight.”
The other opponents the media badgered Bute about include Kessler, a four-time titleholder from Denmark who withdrew from the Super Six after being diagnosed with temporary eye injuries, and the four super middleweights remaining in the tournament who will face each other in two single-elimination bouts in May.
Kessler, who outpointed Carl Froch in a competitive 12-round bout in his last fight last April, plans to be ringside for Bute-Magee, which takes place at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
The semifinalists of the Super Six tournament include undefeated WBA titleholder Andre Ward, Froch, who holds the WBC belt, former light heavyweight champ Glen Johnson, and former middleweight beltholder Arthur Abraham.
Ward, who some rate above Bute in both the 168-pound rankings and the mythical pound-for-pound lists, faces Abraham on May 14.
Froch, who dominated Abraham over 12 rounds in his last fight, faces Johnson on May 21.
Bute would not discuss who he wants to fight next but he did give his take on the tournament.
“I’ve followed the Super Six from the beginning,” said Bute, who signed a three-fight deal with Showtime that begins with Saturday’s fight with Magee. “I’m a big fan of boxing and this tournament is in my division, so I’ve watched every fight closely. I’ve studied all the fights and all the fighters in it. I can’t wait until it is over so I can fight the guys who were involved.
“All four boxers in the semifinals are very good. I have a lot respect for them, but based on his last performance (against Froch), Arthur Abraham may not have a solution for Andre Ward. Congratulations to Glen Johnson for making it into the semifinals at his age. I’m happy for him, but I see Carl Froch and Andre Ward in the finals and I think each man has an equal chance of winning. I think it will be an exciting fight.”