On Nov. 5 International Boxing Federation (IBF) Super Middleweight Champion Lucian Bute will headline on Showtime Boxing making his ninth defense of his 168-pound title against ageless former world light heavyweight champion Glen “The Road Warrior’’ Johnson (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Canada.
A gifted Romanian-born southpaw, Bute, 31, returns to his adopted home of Canada – after a fourth-round knockout over previously unbeaten, No. 1-ranked Jean Paul Mendy last July 9 in Romania – with an unblemished record of 29-0 with 24 KOs. The remarkable Johnson, 42, of Miami, Fla., is an 18-year veteran known for always giving his absolute best and fighting in an opponent’s backyard. This will be the 10th appearance in a world title bout for the Jamaican-born Johnson (51-15-2, 35 KOs).
“I expect a very tough fight,” Bute said. “I know Glen, and he’s an aggressive fighter who will put relentless pressure on me. Everybody knows I sparred with him in 2009, but sparring and fighting are different. I become another person during a fight and you can be sure I’ll have a few surprises for Glen.
“Glen’s a former world champion and he will be in a great shape. He fought hard against a lot of big names in boxing. This is a good challenge for me and beating Johnson is going to solidify my place among the elite in the super middleweight division.”
The immensely popular Bute, who draws the biggest boxing crowds in all of Canada, has won six consecutive fights inside the distance and has been IBF champ since 2007.
“I’m extremely excited about this fight,” Johnson said. “You will see the best Glen Johnson of the past few years. I’m coming to Canada to derail the Bute train and bring the IBF belt back to the United States. My thanks to SHOWTIME for keeping me in the mix of world-class super middleweights and for doing so much for my career.”
“If there is one man who won’t be intimidated by the droves of fans who come out to see Lucian fight, it is Glen Johnson,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “The winner of this matchup puts himself in very good position to land some blockbuster fights within the division. Though both of these boxers are gentlemen outside of the ring, I expect we’ll see both men fighting as if losing is not an option.”
This past March 19, the 6-foot-2 ½-inch Bute scored two knockdowns en route to a 10th-round technical knockout over a determined Brian Magee at the Bell Centre in Montreal. In his 2008 SHOWTIME debut, Bute retained the IBF belt on ShoBox: The New Generation with a lopsided 12-round decision over Librado Andrade in one of the most controversial and talked about final rounds of the last decade. Bute signed a multi-fight deal with SHOWTIME in November 2010.
Johnson dropped a competitive 12-round majority decision to Froch in a terrific Super Six World Boxing Classic Semifinal matchup in his most recent outing last June 4 on SHOWTIME. Johnson landed his fair share of hard shots but Froch retaliated with brutal combos each time to win by the scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 114-114.
Two starts ago, the 5-foot-11 Johnson earned the shot at Froch by scoring an eighth-round TKO over Allan Green in Group Stage 3 of the Super Six on Nov. 6, 2010. Johnson, making his first start at 168 pounds in 10 years, replaced the injured Mikkel Kessler and looked fantastic in his super middleweight return.
Despite being the challenger in the Nov. 5 fight, Johnson’s resume boasts a far more impressive roster of opponents than Bute’s. The always-game Johnson has been in the ring with Bernard Hopkins, Tavoris Cloud, Chad Dawson and owns victories over future Hall of Famers, Roy Jones Jr. and Antonio Tarver.
The world title fight is promoted by Interbox, DiBella Entertainment and Warriors Boxing.
Steve Albert will call the action with Al Bernstein and Tarver providing color commentary and Jim Gray serving as ringside reporter. David Dinkins Jr. is the executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports with Ray Smaltz producing and Bob Dunphy directing.
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