Last week, Lucian Bute and his promoter Interbox held an international conference call to discuss the conundrum the IBF super middleweight titlist is currently in.
Carl Froch is the next desired opponent for the undefeated southpaw, according to Interbox, however Showtime has no interest in that fight. The U.S. cable network, which has one more fight on its contract with Bute, is reportedly interested in the Montreal-based Romanian facing Andre Dirrell instead, but Interbox remains firm on their choice of matchup, even if it means doing it off Showtime.
This past week, a new wrinkle was added to the story, when Froch told British reporters that he would prefer to take a homecoming bout in April, rather than face THE RING’s No. 1-rated super middleweight right away.
When contacted by RingTV.com, Interbox promoter Jean Bedard had no further comment on Bute’s situation, but did make it clear that Froch is still an option for his charge’s next outing.
If that is the case, the promoter is prepared to simply broadcast the fight on Canadian pay-per-view, as all of Bute’s fights are anyway. The reason making this kind of stand is at all possible, is of course because Bute sells out arenas, and network compensation is not needed for the fighter or his promotional outfit to turn a profit.
A Royal affair
The main event of the annual Shaw Festival boxing gala at the Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto is set, and it’s far more significant than expected. Former Canadian Olympian Adam Trupish will take on rising prospect Domonique Dolton in junior middleweight action. The event is set for April 17 – a Tuesday card – which is rare in the modern boxing world.
At 32 years of age, it would appear that 10 fights is “too little, too late” for Trupish (10-0, 7 knockouts), but in fact, he’s managed to do enough during that time period to get himself ranked in the Top 15 by the WBA. That means he’s eligible for a title bout against beltholder Austin Trout, but without much buzz across the border, he’s opting for more seasoning.
However, in Dolton, he’s likely found more than a pinch of seasoning. Dolton (11-0, 6 KOs) has long been regarded as the next possible Detroit-born success story. A successful amateur in his own right, the 22 year old lost to Keith Thurman at the 2008 Olympic Trials with Emmanuel Steward in his corner before turning pro the same year. Whatever he missed out on without an extra year fighting with headgear, he found it anyway in the gym, where he’s been a part of training camps for the likes of Kermit Cintron and Wladimir Klitschko.
Speaking of Detroit, junior lightweight prospect Logan Cotton McGuinness has been spending time in the Motor City himself. The 2011 NABA Fighter of the Year has been working with Steward as well, something his Hennessy Sports stablemate Tyson Fury has been doing frequently.
McGuinness (16-0-1, 8 KOs) is slated to return on March 6 in Toronto, according to his promoter Adam Harris.
Siding with the enemy?
In some surprising news, cruiserweight contender Troy Ross has signed a promotional agreement with Sauerland Event in Germany. Save for an easy victory over journeyman Carl Handy, Ross (24-2, 16 KOs) has spent nearly a year and a half inactive since a disputed fifth-round TKO loss to then-IBF titlist Steve Cunningham.
During that time, Ross has rallied and protested against the decision to determine the fight a stoppage, despite a visible thumb to the eye causing the bout-ending cut. He and his team were publicly displeased with Cunningham and Sauerland Event’s choice to fight Yoan Pablo Hernandez instead of him in October, waiting idly as the top contender rated by the IBF.
The animosity ultimately wasn’t too thick, as Ross did the wisest thing a cruiserweight can do, and inked with the German promoter. Simply put, there is no market for cruisers in North America. But in Europe, cruiserweights are legitimate stars, and Ross could be no exception with the proper backing overseas.
Back to Buffalo
One of Ross’ sparring mates, Lionell Thompson, will return to his hometown of Buffalo, NY, where he will headline a March 31 event at the Buffalo-Niagara Convention Center against former Haitian Olympian Azea Augustama.
Thompson (12-0, 8 KOs) has become a de facto Canadian of sorts, primarily training in Toronto with his chief second, former junior middleweight title challenger Ross Thompson.
The bout with Augustama will be for a vacant NABA light heavyweight strap, which carries the significance of putting the winner on the WBA’s radar for ranking. Thompson’s handlers have spoken about moving him quickly, with all-Canadian matchups against the likes of Nicholson Poulard or Eleider Alvarez potentially around the corner.
Photo / Herby Whyne-Fightwireimages.com
Corey Erdman is also the host of RingTV Radio. Follow him on Twitter @corey_erdman