Lucian Bute signs with Al Haymon
Former IBF super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute has signed a “representation agreement” with Al Haymon and is being targeted for a return to the ring in May or June, according to a release from his promoter, Interbox’s Jean Bedard.
“The participation of Interbox in the promotion of Lucian Bute’s career will remain unchanged,” read the statement, in part. “It is a pleasure for Interbox to work jointly with Al Haymon and his team in the organization of future fights for Lucian. The first fight is planned for the end of this spring.”
Bute (31-2, 24 knockouts), 34, had been working for about two months with Freddie Roach in November when he suffered a back injury during the seventh round of a 12-round sparring session, forcing the southpaw to pull out of a scheduled Dec. 6 bout against Roberto Feliciano Bolonti.
Bute is 1-2 in his past three fights, having fallen by unanimous decision to former RING 175-pound champion Jean Pascal in a light heavyweight bout at the Bell Centre in January 2013. 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.
“Interbox has been working with Lucian since his professional debut in 2003,” said Bedard in the release, which indicated that Bute’s new target date was May or June. “We have worked without rest to help him rise to the summit of his sport, celebrating together his IBF world championship reign at super middleweight. Now, together with Al Haymon, we will continue supporting Lucian.”
Bute’s signing with Haymon follows that of Polish heavyweight Artur Szpilka, 25, who is coming off a unanimous decision victory over countryman Tomasz Adamek in November.
Bute’s move also follows last week’s announcement of Haymon’s deal for NBC’s new boxing series titled “Premier Boxing Champions” (PBC on NBC”), whose first two shows will take place on March 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and then on April 11, potentially at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Bedard said Bute had been considered for a return on the March 14 undercard of a main event featuring RING No. 3-rated Pascal opposite RING No. 1-rated IBF/WBA/WBO titleholder Sergey Kovalev at Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
“The upcoming March 14 gala had been considered as a good starting point for his comeback,” read the statement, “but this date proves to be too early for an adequate preparation for Lucian. The new target date for his return to the ring is May or June. More details will be communicated in the following months.”
Co-promoted by Main Events, the Kovalev-Pascal card will also match former IBF cruiserweight titleholder Steve Cunningham against Vyacheslav Glazkov in an IBF heavyweight title eliminator. Also on the card will be junior lightweight Joel Diaz Jr. opposite Kevin Lavall├®e.
JOHAN PEREZ, ALFONSO BLANCO WIN ON GOLDEN BOY CARD
Welterweight Johan Perez (20-2-1, 13 KOs) unanimously decisioned Humberto Mauro Gutierrez (29-6-2, 21 KOs) on Friday, winning via scores of 119-107 twice and 120-106 on a third card at the Polideportivo Jos├® Mar├¡a Vargas in La Guaira, Venezuela, according to a release from Golden Boy Promotions.
The victory helped Perez bounce back from a majority decision loss to Mauricio Herrera in July while the southpaw Gutierrez lost his second straight bout since Dec.. 2012.
In another bout, junior middleweight Alfonso Blanco (9-0, 4 KOs) notched a second round technical knockout victory over Edinson Garcia (23-19, 12 KOs).