Lucian Bute: I’m fully healthy now
By Dan Ambrose: Former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (31-2, 24 KOs) says he’s fully healthy and ready for his fight this Saturday night against Andrea Di Luisa (17-2, 13 KOs) on Premier Boxing Champions on NBCSN from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. Bute, 35, has dealt with a variety of injuries during the past few years that kept him from fighting on a regular basis. He’s finally 100 percent and ready for his tune-up fight against the little known Di Luisa in Montreal.
Bute needs to win this fight and look good doing so for him to stay in position for a future world title shot. Bute’s chances of getting a world title shot at 168 will increase tenfold if WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack wins his fight against George Groves on September 12th on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Andre Berto card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I would like to thank Andrea Di Luisa for accepting this challenge and to fight me at home,” Bute said. “My preparation was great. In the last few years, I had health problems that affected my performances. What I can say now is that I’m fully healthy. I did almost 100 rounds of sparring for this fight. I am back!”
Bute looked good in training. It’s too bad that he’s putting together such a good camp for this level of opponent, because this isn’t a dangerous fight for Bute. He needed to put together a good training camp for his last fight against Jean Pascal last year in January. Bute lost that fight by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision, and rarely let his hands go. Bute looked like he was afraid to get hit in that fight. He was fortunate that Pascal didn’t go after him the way that Carl Froch did in stopping him in 2012, because Bute likely would have been knocked out. He looked like a shell of the fighter he once was years earlier.
“This bout is a rematch of an amateur fight we had 15 years ago,” Di Luisa said. “This is different this time because Bute is now a former world champion and a well know name in the sport. Make no mistake, I am here to fight.”
It would be a real shocker if Bute lost this fight, because he’s clearly better than Di Luisa. But if he can’t beat this quality of fighter then it would be a clear sign that Bute needs to hang up the gloves and look for another line of work. A prime Bute would be a world champion right now. He was better than guys like George Groves, Badou Jack, James DeGale and Arthur Abraham. But the wheels came off Bute’s game after his loss to Froch, and he’s still trying to put things back together. Time will tell whether Bute can resurrect his career. The Di Luisa fight won’t tell us much because it’s such a mismatch, but once Bute steps it up again in the near future we’ll get the answers we’re looking for from him.
Light heavyweight contender Eleider Alvarez (17-0) will be facing Isidro Prieto in a 12 round fight for the vacant WBC Silver 175lb title.