As former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik attempts to navigate back to the top of the boxing world, the most lucrative road will be through unbeaten Canadian Lucian Bute, his promoter says.
Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc. told BoxingScene.com's Mark Vester that a match with Bute represents the greatest opportunity for Pavlik (36-2, 32 knockouts) to earn some big money in the super middleweight division, where he'll fight for the first time May 7 against Alfonso Lopez (21-0, 16 KOs). That fight is part of the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
"You have to understand that there are a lot of great fighters out there in the super middleweight division, but with the exception of Bute in Canada, they're not particularly big attractions in terms of ticket sales," Arum said. "For them to make a big-ticket fight, they have to have Kelly Pavlik. It's not a question of who Kelly is going to go after, it's a question of who the team wants Kelly to fight. These fighters have to fight Kelly Pavlik."
Arum assured that Pavlik, recently released from drug and alcohol rehab, isn't taking high collision with Lope lightly.
"The guy he's fighting May 7 is no pushover," the promoter said. "He has a lot of knockouts, he's a Texas kid and that's a tough chore. We'll see how he does in that fight and then talk it over with the team and see who comes next."
Dennis Taylor is editor/publisher of www.ringsideboxingshow.com and co-host of The Ringside Boxing Show.