Bute and Alvarez to meet Feb. 24 for chance to fight Stevenson
Lucian Bute and Eleider Alvarez both want a crack at WBC light heavyweight titleholder Adonis Stevenson.
Alvarez is his mandatory and Bute wants to rise in weight for another title shot. As a result, it made sense to match the Quebec-based fighters, which is what promoter Yvon Michel has done. Bute and Alvarez are scheduled to meet on Feb. 24 at Videotron Centre in Quebec City in a light heavyweight showdown with the winner in line to face Stevenson next, Michel told RingTV.com on Thursday.
Michel said if Alvarez comes through victorious, he would face Stevenson on a target date of April 29, in either Montreal or Quebec City. He was less certain about Bute, saying the former super middleweight titleholder could also meet Stevenson on April 29 if he wins but it remained to be seen if that will be Stevenson’s next fight. Before any of that can happen, Alvarez has a stay-busy fight on Saturday against Norbert Dabrowski at the Montreal Casino in Montreal. Michel didn’t have any concern of a fast turnaround for Alvarez of a month to face Stevenson. Either way, Stevenson won’t be fighting before April, Michel said.
“We’ll see,” Michel said of a match between Bute and Stevenson on April 29 if Bute wins against Alvarez. “Definitely if Bute wins he wants to fight Stevenson. I have to see what kind of status he will gain if he beats Alvarez. But his goal is to fight Stevenson in his very next fight.”
Michel said Bute (32-3-1, 25 knockouts) was hoping to face the winner of the super middleweight unification bout between James DeGale and Badou Jack for the RING/WBC/IBF titles on Jan. 14 but didn’t have confidence he would get the opportunity. To keep the 36-year-old Bute busy, it made sense to pair him with Alvarez (20-0, 10 KOs) even if Alvarez is risking his mandatory status with Stevenson.
“Both DeGale and Jack had a hard time with Bute,” Michel said. “So we know the winner will have to do a mandatory and at 36 years old we didn’t want to have to wait. His ultimate goal is to fight Adonis Stevenson and he will try to do so by qualifying by fighting the actual mandatory contender in Eleider Alvarez. We have all the ingredients of a huge fight here.”
Bute fought to a controversial draw against Jack in April but later tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine; he was fined $50,000 and retroactively suspended for time served in a settlement he reached with the Washington, D.C. Boxing Commission last month.