Lucian Bute, the undefeated Romanian-Canadian super middleweight boxer, has climbed the pound for pound rankings up to the number 13 position, as he has continued to rack up title defenses. At 28-0, with 23 knockouts, and in one of the deepest and most talented weight classes in the sport, Bute has plenty of options in terms of potential future opponents.
After signing a multi-fight deal with Showtime, he'll be exclusively fighting on the network, and his upcoming opponents will clearly come from the participants of the Super Six Tournament. Still, this list won't worry about such pesky details, and will instead focus purely on which fights would be the best, biggest and most interesting. Here are the top 5 fights to make for Lucian Bute.
1. Andre Ward: If Andre Ward wins the Super Six, as he is favored to do, he'll be a battletested 25-0, and will be the clear top dog at 168 lbs. He's also the only gold medal winning U.S. boxer from the last three Olympiads, which would add some great fuel to the USA vs. Canada theme of the bout. Ward vs. Bute would be a clear #1 vs. #2 in one of the sport's best divisions, with two undefeateds, a national rivalry, and plenty of juiciness to feast on.
2. Jean Pascal: Pascal has joined Bute in becoming one of the faces of the Canadian boxing revival during the past few years. If Bute moved up to the light heavyweight division, or the two fought at a catch-weight, this fight would present one of the most raucous atmospheres of all-time. Each routinely sells out the arenas that they fight in, and Bute vs. Pascal would actually present a legitimate threat to hockey's year-round dominance of the Canadian sporting culture.
3.Mikkel Kessler: Kessler was forced to withdraw from the Super Six with an eye injury, but had been coming off of a great win over Carl Froch in his last outing. He's technically solid, and in the Froch fight, he showed some of the heart, will and aggression that many had been waiting for him to display for years. Bute vs. Kessler is the most likely bout for each man in the immediate future, as neither is tied up with any other obligations and both fight on Showtime.
4. Carl Froch: Froch lost to Kessler, however he beat Pascal several years ago, while Pascal was still campaigning at 168 lbs. He also holds wins over Arthur Abraham, Jermain Taylor and Andre Dirrell. Those have been his last 5 opponents, and nobody in the sport has had a more impressive or daunting recent run. Can you imagine the trash talking Froch would delight us with while gearing himself up for a Bute bout? With his free-winging, awkward and attacking style, Bute vs. Froch would provide guaranteed fireworks.
5. Bernard Hopkins: The ageless wonder controversially came up short in his title bid against Pascal this past December, and has a chance to right the wrong with the upcoming rematch in May. If he wins, the Bute vs. Pascal bout loses some luster, and Hopkins would be eager to dethrone another champion in his prime to boost his legacy. If he loses, he's still Bernard Hopkins, and as such would be a difficult opponent for Bute to handle, and a big name for him to try to add to his resume.
- Andre Dirrell
- Arthur Abraham
- Jermain Taylor
- Carl Froch
- Bernard Hopkins
- super middleweight boxer
- Mikkel Kessler
- Lucian Bute
- Andre Ward
- light heavyweight division