Lucian Bute looks to reclaim IBF 168-pound crown
Lucian Bute bids to reclaim his old IBF super middleweight title on Saturday when he faces James DeGale at the Centre Videotron, Quebec City, Quebec. The fight will be broadcast on Showtime, the telecast begins at 11:00 ET/PT and in the UK on SKY Sports 1 at 3:00 a.m.
Bute (32-2, 25 knockouts) easily picked apart Andrea Di Luisa in August to earn this opportunity and is eager to challenge DeGale.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to face a champion such as DeGale,” Bute told RingTV.com. “It’s my chance to show myself and my fans that I still belong at the top of the super middleweight division.”
The Canadian transplant scored his first win in nearly three years when he stopped Di Luisa in four rounds.
“My fight with Di Luisa came after a long layoff and many changes around me,” explained Bute. “I needed that fight. I had a great camp prior to Di Luisa and I felt very comfortable in the ring. It felt good to drop an opponent after four years and I plan to continue that trend.”
The now 35-year-old, who is extremely popular in his adopted home region of Quebec, is well aware of what the Englishman brings to the ring.
“I don’t see many weaknesses. Maybe the fact that he drops his hands often during the fight and that he switches guards often might work against him in his fight with me,” he said. “As far as strengths, I notice great ring movement, good balance and well-placed punches with both hands.”
Bute had been riding the crest of a wave prior to facing Carl Froch in May 2012, making 10 defenses in a four-and-a-half-year reign.
Froch manhandled Bute, stopping him in five rounds. It was very damaging to Bute’s career, fighting just three times in the three-and-a-half years since, including a wide, unanimous decision loss to former RING light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal.
It took time but Bute feels he’s now mentally in a place to get back to where he was before the Froch fight.
“I have assumed responsibility for that loss and it’s behind me now,” he said. “No, I am not looking for vindication. I wanted an opportunity to become world champion again. I owed it to myself and my fans. The fact that it happens versus a British fighter for a belt that I had in the past is pure coincidence.”