Former longtime IBF super middleweight world champion Lucien Bute is getting a title shot against newly minted WBC champion Badou Jack on Saturday, April 30, 2016. The bout takes place at the Armory, Washington, District of Columbia and will be televised on Showtime.
Bute was a Romanian amateur star that made Montreal, Canada his adopted home town. Bute become hugely popular there and had 10 successful title defenses. Many considered Bute the best super middleweight in the world for a period of time but a stoppage loss to Carl Froch in 2012 put the brakes on Bute’s title run and undefeated record. Bute has lost two of his lost three fights. One was a fairly wide decision loss to former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal. The other was a spirited loss to James DeGale for IBF tile that Bute once held.
Jack was an internationally rated amateur from Sweden and that has embarked on a professional career in the United States. He started his campaign reasonably well. He won a slew of bouts only to be derailed by journeyman Derek Edwards in a single round. Well, that loss appears to have turned into a wakeup call as Jack revamped his career by hiring renowned strength coach Memo Heredia. Jack’s appearance looks better conditioned than ever and he won the title from Anthony Dirrell and has defended once against George Groves.
A couple of questions occur to me for this fight. Can Bute get a boost from his solid outing in a loss the highly regarded DeGale? Has Jack made improved enough to get by a savvy left handed veteran? This is an intriguing fight. And Bute is not in the friendly confines of Montreal for this bout. Jack has made improvements and we can’t be completely sure what Bute has left.
I do believe Bute is a consummate professional and has worked hard for this fight. I think his proper division is 168 pounds. I do believe his awkward left handed stance can trouble Jack and Bute has always been a devastating body puncher. Jack has improved but I don’t think he’s as talented as James DeGale. I see this as an even fight with a slight lean to Bute. And with Bute at a price of +230, I think he is worth some backing.