Montreal’s Bute signs 3-fight deal with Showtime

The three-fight Showtime deal signed by Montreal’s Lucian Bute is reportedly worth $6 million.(Eric...

The three-fight Showtime deal signed by Montreal’s Lucian Bute is reportedly worth $6 million.(Eric Bolte/QMI Agency)

Brian Daly, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:55 PM ET

MONTREAL – Undefeated Canadian boxing champion Lucian Bute, considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, has signed a three-fight deal with the U.S.-based Showtime network, the channel announced Friday.

Montreal-based Bute (27-0, 22 KO), the IBF Super-Middleweight Champion, will take to the ring in early 2011 against an as-yet-unnamed opponent. Showtime made the annoucement in Las Vegas with Jean Bedard, who is Bute’s promoter as well as president of the Montreal boxing stable InterBox.

“We are very excited for Lucian Bute to rejoin us on Showtime,” said Ken Hershman, executive vice-president of the network.

“In the next six weeks alone, Showtime will feature a virtual who’s who of the most talented and accomplished champions at both 168 and 175 pounds. Lucian’s entrance into that mix is sure to deliver even more thrilling, closely matched fights in 2011.”

Interbox and Showtime would not say how much Bute’s deal is worth but ESPN says the Romanian-born fighter could earn $2 million per fight.

Bute’s last win was a convincing knockout victory over American Jesse Brinkley on Oct. 15 at Montreal's Bell Centre. He has said he would mount an optional title defense in March, also at the Bell Centre.

Former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik appeared to be Bute’s top contender but he has slumped recently and is nursing an injured rib. Another possible opponent is undefeated Californian Andre Ward (22-0-0, 13 KO), the WBA Super Middleweight Champion.

Ward is currently a semifinalist in the so-called “Super Six” super-middleweight tournament, an attempt to unify the confusing array of belts and boxing councils that clouds the boxing landscape. A Ward-Bute fight would take place outside the tournament.

Bute’s three-fight deal is the latest bout of good news for Canadian pro boxing, which has taken its place on the world stage.

World light-heavyweight champion Jean Pascal of Montreal will defend his WBC and IBO titles against Bernard (The Executioner) Hopkins on Dec. 18 in Quebec City. It will be the biggest fight on Canadian soil in 30 years.


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