Former super-middleweight world champion, Lucian Bute, claims he is more than focused on his bid to reclaim his old title, meeting current IBF 168 lb belt holder, James DeGale on Saturday night in Quebec, and warning that the pressure is all on the Londoner.
DeGale is travelling to Bute’s Quebec backyard for the maiden defence of his title; his second fight in North America, having won his title in the US back in May against Andre Dirrell.
The ‘away’ factor is something that Bute believes is going to be of crucial advantage, having famously been on the wrong end of a bear-pit atmosphere when he came to the UK in 2012 and was blown out in 5 destructive rounds by Carl Froch in the ‘Cobra’s’ Nottingham backyard.
“I’m more confident, more focused in my head, determined,” Bute said. “We changed some things in my boxing style, to be more aggressive, throw more combinations, and I feel the difference.
“Twenty thousand people behind me is not [going to be] easy for him, I’m sure the pressure’s on his shoulders,” he continued. “He’s the champion, he has the belt. I know this because I felt it when I came to England.
“It’s different styles. Carl Froch was a more aggressive, more tough fighter, and James DeGale is more talented, has more speed, moves a lot, sometimes he changes orthodox to southpaw, and he’s an Olympic champion, a world champion. He’s a good fighter.
“Like I said, the pressure’s on him, he’s the world champion. Everything’s on my side. He has everything to lose.”
DeGale/Bute will air on Showtime (US) and Sky Sports (UK)