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Lucian Bute: ‘I’m not retiring’

Fighters Network

Lucian Bute suffered a back injury during the seventh of a 12-round sparring session, forcing the former IBF super middleweight titleholder to pull out of a Dec. 6 bout against Roberto Feliciano Bolonti, the southpaw stated during a press conference this week.

Promoted by Interbox, Bute (31-2, 24 knockouts) had been working for about two months with Freddie Roach, having joined the trainer and WBO welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao in the Philippines in advance of Pacquiao’s unanimous decision in a Nov. 22 defense against Chris Algieri.

In place of Bute, Bolonti (35-3, 24 knockouts) will fight former RING light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KOs) at Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

“I heard a lot of rumors in the last couple of days but I can assure you that I’m not retiring and Freddie Roach is still my coach,” said Bute, 34, who still is awaiting medical diagnostics from his doctors in Montreal. He also plans to return to action in 2015.

“I’m not a doctor but it hurts really bad. I don’t know what it really is at this point. But it still hurts. I can walk; I can enter my car but I’m not healthy enough to fight. I won’t jeopardize my health. I’m really sad but I have nothing to hide.”

Bute is 1-2 in his past three fights, having fallen by unanimous decision to Pascal in a light heavyweight bout at Bell Centre in January. Prior to facing Pascal, Bute scored a unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten Denis Grachev in November 2012 to rebound from a fifth-round knockout loss to Carl Froch in May 2012.

Pascal, 32, won his third straight bout against Bute, having also scored a unanimous decision over Aleksy Kuziemski and a fifth-round knockout of George Blades since losing his RING and WBC titles via unanimous decision to Bernard Hopkins in May 2011.

In his last fight in June, Bolonti, 35, lost a unanimous decision to Juergen Braehmer that ended his run of five straight wins. Bolonti’s previous loss before Braehmer was by unanimous decision to Tony Bellew in November 2012.