Popular local favorite and former world champion Lucian Bute (32-2, 25 KOs), of Montreal, will face super middleweight world champion James DeGale (21-1, 14 KOs) of England in the main event on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING live on SHOWTIME on Saturday, November 28 at the Vidéotron Centre of Quebec City. This super boxing gala “THE RECLAMATION“ is a presentation of Vidéotron in collaboration with Mise-O-Jeu.
“I am extremely happy to have this opportunity at this point of my career. I lost my title in England against an English fighter and now, I will box in Quebec against another English boxer, for the same title I defended for 5 years. I am really motivated by this opportunity to regain the title I lost in England in 2012. The fact that the fight will take place in front of my fans in Quebec City, where I never lost, will be the factor that will make the difference. I give all my respect to the champion James DeGale for accepting to travel for his first defense, but the belt will stay in Quebec November 28! “, assured Bute.
“Bute is a world class, elite-level fighter, who kept his world title for five years. Anyone who can do that deserves some serious respect. I’m the champion and he will be very fired up trying to win back his old title, but I’m too young, too fast, too skilful to let that happen. I’m lucky enough to have boxed in Canada only a few years ago when I took on Sebastien Demers in Quebec in 2013. I met some great people out there, it is a lovely country and I can’t wait to get back. I beat Demers in a couple of rounds and I’d take the same result again. Whatever happens, however I win, I’m coming back with my belt”, replied DeGale.
“For Lucian, this is THE defining fight of his career. This is a unique chance to regain his super middleweight title. We are really happy to have concluded a deal for this fight against James DeGale. Once again, the Quebec boxing fans will be pleased with this first boxing card in the brand new Vidéotron Centre”, explained the President of InterBox, Jean Bédard.
“We are really happy to work with the President of InterBox, Jean Bédard, in the organization of this super gala. This event is also possible thanks to the collaboration of major partners. I would like to thank the Executive Vice President & General Manager, Sports and Event Programming of Showtime Network, M. Stephen Espinoza, the President and CEO of Québecor, Pierre Dion, the President and CEO of Groupe Sports et divertissement of Québecor, Benoît Robert, the President and CEO of Radio Nord Communications Raynald Brière, as well to our partners:
Vidéotron, Mise-O-Jeu, Tonic groupimage, TVA Sports, Le Journal de Québec, Radio Nord Communications and CHOI-FM 98,1 Radio X”, mentioned the President of GYM, Yvon Michel
“November 28, the Quebecers will have the privilege to assist, to support and to contribute for this important challenge for Bute, who defended his title for a record of 9 times, of regaining his old title, which was never done before here. The task will be hard because the champion is extremely skilled and is not afraid to defend his brand new belt in the former champion’s backyard. I would like to thank James DeGale for having accepted the invitation, but the whole GYM team is proud to promote this event and is rooting for Lucian Bute in his historic quest”, added the President of GYM.
“We are very proud to present a world championship fight between Lucian Bute and James DeGale for the first boxing card of the history of the Vidéotron Centre. There is beautiful love story between Quebec city’s people and Lucian Bute, who won the four fights he had in the Old Capital on the course of his pro career”, said the President and CEO of Quebecor, Mr. Pierre Dion.
Lucian Bute, Quebec’s fan favorite
Bute is a boxer who has always been very popular in Quebecers’ hearts. After a solid amateur career, punctuated by a gold medal performance at the 2001
Francophone Games in Ottawa, plus participation in three World championships, Bute chose Quebec as his second home.
Starting as a sparring partner for then World Boxing Council (WBC) world super middleweight champion Eric Lucas, the southpaw showed the extent of his talent and charisma, in addition to learning a new language, French.
Extremely dedicated and disciplined, the native of Pechea, Romania quickly rose through the ranks of professional boxing, stopping many tough and experienced fighters.
A clear crowd favorite, Bute realized his dream of becoming world champion on October 19, 2007 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, knocking out Colombian Alejandro Berrio to win the world super middleweight belt.
With nine successive defenses of his world title, the 35-year-old gladiator still holds that record for a Canadian boxer. Bute also obtained his Canadian citizenship March 26, 2012.
After a win over Russian Denis Grachev at the end of 2012, the athlete who now lives in Laval moved up to the light heavyweight division for a super fight against local rival Jean Pascal. In front of a sellout crowd in Bell Centre on January 18, 2014, Bute lost a unanimous against the former lineal light heavyweight champion.
After an 18-month layoff, crowd favorite Bute returned in spectacular fashion, destroying European Union super middleweight champion Andrea Di Luisa by way of a fourth-round stoppage.
November 28, Bute will try to avenge his loss to Carl Froch against another Englishman and, therefore, recapture his lost title.
DeGale, from Olympic champion to pro champion
A native of London, James DeGale became a British hero by winning a gold medal as a middleweight (165 pounds) at the Beijing Olympic Games, in 2008.
To do so, he bested Egyptian Mohamed Hikal (the last man to defeat Gennady Golovkin), American Shawn Estrada, Kazakh Bakhtiyar Artayev (Olympic gold medalist in 2004), Irish Darren Sutherland and Cuban Emilio Correa Jr.
DeGale moved on to the pro ranks in 2009, winning his 10 first fights before losing a controversial decision against domestic rival George Groves, in May 2011.
Obviously not shaken by his first loss, the switch hitter returned on the win column five months later by beating European and WBO Inter-Continental super middleweight champion, Polish Piotr Wilczewski.
Since that victory, he won 10 more bouts including one in Quebec, May 2013 at Lac-Leamy Casino, in Gatineau, where he defeated Sébastien Demers by KO in the second round.
DeGale finally became super middleweight world champion in his last outing, May 23 in Boston, with a unanimous decision win over slick American Andre Dirrell.
He is the only British fighter to have won an Olympic gold medal and a professional boxing title.
Alvarez and Beterbiev also in action
Also fighting on the card are light heavyweight world title challengers Eleider Alvarez and Artur Beterbiev. Both will fight in their respective 175-pound division elimination bouts. A press conference will take place in the next few weeks with more additional details.
November 28, at the beautiful Vidéotron Centre of Quebec City, this is an event that boxing fans don’t want to miss!
Tickets are on sale at Vidéotron Centre box office, on www.ticketmaster.ca, at GYM (514) 383-0666, at InterBox (450) 645-1077 or at Champion boxing club (514) 376-0980.