James DeGale is in negotiations to make his second appearance on Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions as Lucian Bute aims to win back the title belt he made his own between 2007 and 2012.
Bute, 35, was considered a pound for pound star towards the back end of his reign as IBF super middleweight title holder, making nine defences until running into a Carl Froch juggernaut in Nottingham.
The Romanian-Canadian has since struggled with form – losing one of two contests at light heavyweight – before moving back down to 168 where he stopped Andrea Di Luisa in four rounds just last month.
That victory has set Bute up to face new champion DeGale, who defeated Anthony Dirrell unanimously in May to begin his first stint as a major title holder following on from the 29 year-old Briton’s Olympic success in 2008.
According to Bute’s representatives, negotiations to be DeGale’s first challenger are ongoing, although there is no set date or venue for the PBC clash – which is set to unfold before the end of 2015.
“Lucian Bute and James DeGale are still in the process of negotiation with all parties involved,” Cage media officer Claire Couturier informed World Boxing News.
“Regarding the date, it will remain a moving target until the potential agreement is completed.”
As DeGale signed up with Haymon in the wake of his defining night against Dirrell, ‘Chunky’ is set to feature more in the United States, although Bute usually likes to fight in Canada and may hope to persuade the champion to take the fight to his adopted country.