The rebuilding of former super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute is well underway as the Canadian-Romanian’s opponent for his December return to the ring was named this week.
Bute, 34, will fight Argentinian Roberto Bolonti at the Bell Centre in Montreal as ‘Le Tombeur’ aims to put a forgettable three years behind him under the guidance of renowned boxing coach Freddie Roach.
Since a routine victory over tough veteran Glen Johnson in 2011, Bute has suffered two damaging defeats, as firstly Carl Froch took his undefeated record, before domestic rival Jean Pascal claimed the bragging rights on home soil in January.
Sandwiched inbetween was a hard-fought decision win over Denis Grachev on his 175lbs debut, but is was the manner of Bute’s loss to Froch in the UK that really set his career back. That five-round stoppage on what was Bute’s final fight at 168lbs has set the tone for what has followed since, and the southpaw is focused on beginning a new chapter after suffering a disappointing second loss to Pascal.
“I am not happy at all with my performance that night,” Bute told World Boxing News. “Yes, Pascal won fair and square, but I feel I can do better. It was an off night for me.
“My objective now is to become world champion again. I expect after my next fight against Roberto Bolonti on December 6th to sit down with my team and plan for 2015, and if an opportunity for another world title comes up, I will be ready.”
Before suffering his that maiden loss to Froch, Bute was considered one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world, and certainly up their with the all-conquering Andre Ward at the super-middleweight limit.
With many in the know questioning whether he can ever regain his status at the top of the sport, Bute knows that only redemption against those who overcame him will ever erase those painful memories.
“I hope to get the opportunity in the future to get rematches with the fighters who have wins over me in Pascal and Froch,” said Bute. “They are my goals, but I also look forward to fighting the best of the light heavyweight division.”
Now with the appointment of Roach, a six-time Trainer of the Year, Bute is confident training alongside the likes of stablemate Manny Pacquiao can be the catalyst for the one-time world ruler to claw his way back to another reign.
“I believe Freddie will work with me and improve what I have. He won’t make a complete change, but will contribute mainly on the technical aspect,” he explained.
“Also, to be in camp with Manny Pacquiao is probably a once in a lifetime experience for any fighter and I definitely expect to learn from watching him train. I have lways admired his style and I have seen most of his fights since I turned pro back 2003.
“Working my new team will definitely help me achieve my objectives and I look forward to another victory in December,” added Bute.