IS LUCIAN BUTE NEXT FOR WARD?
Canadian-based RING No. 3-ranked IBF beltholder Lucian Bute (34-0, 24 KOs) is not necessarily the next opponent for Ward. In fact, that might be Froch.
“To be perfectly honest, no disrespect to Bute and his team, but they’ve sat back and they’ve fought B-level opponents and he was doing what he was supposed to do. He stopped them and he’s gotten them out of there,” said Ward.
“So he’s been sitting back, waiting for us to finish fighting for the past two and a half years against top-level competition. So I don’t have to Lucian Bute right now. We’re going to sit back and I’m going to rest.”
Ward said he might even be open for a rematch with Denmark’s former four-time beltholder Mikkel Kessler, whom Ward dethroned as WBA beltholder.
“I would be interested in a Kessler rematch. I would love to get that rematch and settle that score, since he feels like that wasn’t a legitimate victory,” said Ward.
“I have the option of going up to light heavyweight for the right fight. Going up there for the right fight is an option. So we just have to sit back and see. I think that I’ve earned the right to sit back and pick the right fight for the right price.”
BUTE-FROCH ON TAP?
Froch has long insisted that Bute never was good enough to be involved in the Super Six, and points to his controversial, unanimous decision over Librado Andrade in October of 2009 as a reason why.
Bute, who won the rematch by fourth-round knockout over Andrade in November of 2009, benefitted from a long 10-count in their initial bout that allowed him to rise from a knockdown and avoid being counted out.
“Let’s not forget that Librado Andrade knocked out Lucian Bute in the 12th round of that contest,” said Froch, during a roundtable discussion with reporters on Thursday. “You have 10 seconds to get yourself ready to carry on fighting, and he didn’t make it within the 10 seconds. So he lost that fight by knockout, but he won on points, you see what I’m saying?”
During his turn at a Saturday afternoon roundtable, Bute was asked if he would fight Froch, even if Froch lost to Ward.
“If Froch wins, maybe it would be a two-fight deal — one in [Froch's hometown of] Nottingham, and then, one in Montreal,” said Bute. “For me, the fight with Froch is personal.”
DOES PLAN “B” STAND FOR BERNARD HOPKINS?
RING light heavyweight champion and WBC beltholder Bernard Hopkins had expressed interest in facing Bute before being mandated on Friday by the WBC to make a return bout with Chad Dawson, whose second-round technical knockout victory over Hopkins on Oct. 15 has since been declared a no contest.
Hopkins said he expects to return to full-time training in January and would like to be back in the ring in March perhaps for a fight opposite Bute.
In December of last year, Hopkins rose from two knockdowns during his draw with RING No. 1-rated light heavyweight Jean Pascal in the latter’s native Canada before returning to Canada to dethrone Pascal as WBC beltholder by unanimous decision in May.
“It looks like Bute because I’ve got a lot of fans in Canada after the two Pascal fights,” Hopkins told RingTV.com recently. “I have a lot of fans in Canada. It shows that Canada respects boxing and they respect my talents there.”
Bute agreed that a Hopkins bout is a possibilty.
“Hopkins definitely still has a belt. He’s still got a story in Montreal and could help me to be more exposed in the United States, so that could be a good option and a good plan ‘B’ I would say,” said Bute.
“We now want to be recognized in the United States, and if we have to go outside, and the two guys [Ward and Froch] don’t want to fight us, the Hopkins would be the guy. I would stay at 168 and beat everybody, and then, after that, go up to 175.”
PETERSON DRAWS A CROWD
Peterson made his first public appearance at a boxing event since dethroning Khan, and he spent much of it signing autographs and posing for photos with admirers at Boardwalk Hall long before the main event.
“This feels real good. All of the hard work has paid off. A lot of times, we overlook the fans, but they appreciate you and they come out and show their support, so it’s always nice to come out and take the pictures, sign the autographs. We’re supposed to do it,” said Peterson.
“Sometimes, out in Las Vegas, you get this after the big fights. But this is the first time that I’ve walked into someone else’s fight and gotten this kind of attention, so it feels good. I can really get used to this. Even a lot of the British fans, a lot of them have come up to me and congratulated me and said that the thought I won the fight.”
KELL BROOK WANTS TO BRING MIKE JONES TO ATLANTIC CITY “AND DESTROY HIM”
Unbeaten British welterweight Kell “Special K” Brook (26-0, 18 KOs) scored a fifth-round knockout of Luis Galarza (18-3, 14 KOs) in his American debut.
Rated No. 6 by THE RING, the 25-year-old Brook was coming off October’s sixth-round knockout of Poland’s Rafal Jackiewicz, who was rated No. 7 by THE RING at the time and who was stopped for the first time in his career.
In victory over Jackiewicz, who has split-bouts with former IBF beltholder, Jan Zaveck (31-2, 18 KOs), Brook moved past unbeaten Philadelphian Mike Jones (26-0, 19 KOs), Zaveck, Germany’s unbeaten Selcuk Aydin (23-0, 17 KOs) and five-belt winner Shane Mosley, who are rated No. 7, 8, 9 and 10, respectively.
Brook said that he enjoyed his experience in Atlantic City that he wants to return against a more well-known local fighter.
“I’ll take Mike Jones,” said Brook. “I’ll take Mike Jones, I’ll fight him in Atlantic City, and I’ll destroy him.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com