Sulaiman: Bute in the frame for WBC title shot

Phil Jay 25/01/2013

WBC President Jose Sulaiman has told WBN that former IBF super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute is one of the fighters being considered to challenge for the 168lbs title vacated by Andre Ward.

Bute, 32, won a comeback fight in November, albeit at the light-heavyweight limit – but is one of a select group of highly-ranked fighters who could face the winner of the number one and two contender match-up between Sakio Bika v Nikola Sjekloca next month.

Sulaiman also stated that contrary to reports, Bute has not been confirmed as the number one contender for the title as the WBC mull over the best options with ‘Emeritus champion’ Ward recovering long-term from surgery.

One potential scenario would be the WBC holding the full title back until Bika and Sjekloca have fought their contest, which would then revert to an interim bout – with the winner facing the next in line, possibly Bute for the full belt later in the year.

With Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn keen on securing Bute for the upcoming Froch v Kessler II undercard, there is every possibility that the UK card could have three super-middleweight world titles on the line in their forthcoming pay-per-view event.