Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
Following Lucian Bute‘s dominant display over reigning EBU Super Middleweight titlist Brian Magee on Saturday, March 19 at the Bell Centre, Montreal, the Romanian-Canadian called out durable Dane Mikkel Kessler, claiming he will fight the former Super Six World Boxing Classic contestant anytime, anywhere.
Bute defeated Magee by way of 10th round knockout in order to preserve his unbeaten status as well as his fine run of kayo victories during his time as the IBF’s World Super Middleweight champion.
Magee began the fight in fine fashion; finding success over Bute with a right jab and his left hook, however, Bute began to find the Northern Irish southpaw’s gameplan predictable, and was able to counter it.
It was a typical body shot from Bute that felled Magee (now 34-4-1, 24ko) in the tenth that forced the referee – Pete Podgorski – to stop the fight.
Prior to the match-up Bute had confessed that his three-fight deal with Showtime (his debut on the broadcaster was against Magee) would be a good opportunity to showcase his skills and hopefully set up a dust-up with a high profile opponent.
“I am ready to go anywhere, whether it’s in New York, Las Vegas, Romania. If he dares to fight me, I’ll face Mikkel Kessler,” he said after the fight, as reported by Boxing Scene.
Magee, meanwhile, was full of praise for the victor, heralding Bute, who rose to 28-0-0, 23ko, a commendable titlist.
“Lucian is a great champion and Kessler is also a great boxer. I think it’s going to make for a great fight.”
Former world champion Kessler was unfazed about the possibility of facing Bute so soon after returning to boxing following an eye injury that forced him to withdraw from the Super Six.
“Yea, why not?” he said cooly when questioned by Showtime about the potential bout. “He can have his hometown; I’ll kick his butt anywhere.”
The Super Six will reach it’s conclusion this year. The penultimate rounds, the competition’s semi-finals, have been scheduled for this summer.
Tournament favourite Andre Ward takes on Arthur Abraham at the Home Depot Centre in Carson, California on May 14, while Carl Froch and late addition Glen Johnson’s fracas is to go ahead a week later on May 21. A venue is yet to be determined.
“I’ve not heard anything definite yet,” Froch explained when probed about the arena and country his bout with Johnson is to be hosted in.
“It’s getting a bit boring to be honest,” he added. “I keep hearing this and that but nothing concrete.
“The only thing I can say for definite is that I will beat Johnson.”
Froch has shown himself to be a rugged contender for the Super Six trophy. In his first fight in the tournament he secured a split decision victory over Andre Dirrell yet lost a unanimous decision to Mikkel Kessler in his second bout.
He bounced back immediately, though, to dispose of Arthur Abraham in a convincing, one-sided display.
Johnson, meanwhile, was a late addition to the party as he replaced the injured Kessler. His semi-final versus Froch, therefore, will be his first outing in the Super Six set-up.
Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
IBF World Super Middleweight titlist Lucian Bute makes his debut appearance on the Showtime network this weekend when he takes on no.8 ranked contender Brian Magee at the Bell Centre, Montreal, Canada and the defending champion is hoping to put on an impressive performance in order to cement a shot at the winner of the Super Six tournament that concludes this year.
A canny southpaw with a tall physique (6ft 2′) for the 168lbs weight class, Bute (27-0-0, 22ko) has blasted out five of his six title defences ahead of schedule with technical knockout victories. He is regarded by boxing journal The Ring to be second in the division; behind fellow undefeated boxer Andre Ward.
An Olympic gold medalist at the 2004 games in Athens, Ward is currently one of four semi-finalists in the Showtime-staged Super Six Classic tournament that pitted six of the best Super Middleweights against each other. Along with Englishman Carl Froch, Ward is the tournament favourite.
Regarding his weekend fight with Magee, Bute added: “Magee is an experienced boxer. He has a good right hook, he’s aggressive, he will never quit and he can punch. I can’t underestimate him and I have to be well-prepared.”
Magee is a former victim of Froch’s and Bute’s performance on Saturday will be a good measuring tool to see how he fares compared to how Froch did. The Nottingham-based boxer knocked out Magee in the 11th round in 2006.
“I respect him as a fighter, but I fully expect to rain on his St. Patrick’s Day parade,” Bute said. “I’m ready for a long and tough fight. It was not an easy fight for Carl Froch, and I don’t expect it to be for me either.”
Despite the outcome of the Super Six occupying part of Bute’s mind, Magee (34-3-1, 24ko) doesn’t expect the Romanian-Canadian technician to be distracted when the two share a ring.
“I don’t think he will take me for granted,” Magee said. “I think he will prepare for me like a champion.
“Without a doubt he’s the best in the division right now. He’s a hard fighter to have a plan against because he’s good at everything. He’s going to go back and go forward. He’s a very worthy world champion.
“He’s a lot trickier on his feet than Froch,” Magee noted. “They are similar in size but I think Lucian is better at speed and movement and boxing ability. I try to be a good boxer-fighter. I admire boxers who get in the ring and use their skill. I try to box and I think of myself as very determined. I always give 110 percent.”
Saturday’s bout will be the 16th time in a row Bute has fought in his adopted fighting home of Quebec yet Magee refuses to believe home-town advantages will come into play providing he fights his own fight.
“No matter what, when you fight abroad, you’re always going to have that in the back of your mind,” Magee explained on Live Fight. “The way I look at it, I just go in there, and do the best I can, and hope everybody else sees the fight the same way. I can’t worry about that until that night. It’s out of my hands.
“Favoritism always goes to the local fighter, but I can’t worry about it until it actually happens.”