Lucian Bute-Kelly Pavlik Close For November

By James Slater: According to a number of web sites, IBF super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute is very close to signing to face former middleweight king Kelly Pavlik, for a fight that would go ahead in November. Unbeaten Bute must first beat Jean Paul Mendy on July 9th, but assuming he does so it looks like it will be The Ghost after that.

Bob Arum and Kellys trainer, Jack Loew, spoke with The Vindicator at the weekend.

If Kelly wins, hes back on top of the heap, Arum said of the Bute fight. If he loses, but gives the crown an incredible performance, hes still right in the mix.

Loew is excited about the prospect of his fighter challenging Bute.

I, myself, look forward to it, Loew said. Hes probably one of the best super-middleweights in the world. Hes left handed, hes tall, hes strong, he goes to the body and he packs it in in Montreal. Itd be a hell of a trip to fight in Canada on major T.V.

The only thing that has to be agreed upon is the venue of the bout, but Pavlik and Loew sound as though they are willing to go to Canada. One other issue that Team-Pavlik must sort out, is whether or not Kelly should have one further tune-up fight before going in with Bute. Coming back after a tough time of inactivity that included a stint in rehab, Pavlik looked less than great in winning on points over ten-rounds against Alfonso Lopez in May.

Arum says he wouldnt advise Pavlik to have a tune-up first, but says its up to the Youngstown hero. Loew says he feels his charge definitely should have a fight before challenging Bute. With the title fight being looked at for November, Pavlik will certainly have to time to engage in a ten-rounder with a fighter who will give him some work (Loew spoke of taking a fight in August or early September). The concern Arum may have, though, is what happens if Pavlik gets cut or injured or, heaven forbid, beaten?

But Pavlik does need to shed more rust if hes to have a great shot against the at-his-peak Bute. A big fight and a massive opportunity for Pavlik to get back to where he once was, it is to be hoped Bute-Pavlik goes ahead as planne.

Article posted on 20.06.2011

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