Showtime Rejects Froch/Bute; Will Ward Step Up?
by Hans Olson
“We discussed the fight with Interbox and we even received a draft of the contract,” said Carl Froch’s promoter Eddie Hearn to TVA Sports on Monday. “Both boxers want to fight, but I was told Showtime would like to have Bute face an American. They control the situation because they distribute the money. The two sides have agreed, but we cannot do anything more for now.”
An interesting development for sure. Just last week I was in contact with representation for Interbox, and was informed that president Jean Bedard had been deep in negotiations to get the deal done for the “home and away” fights for Lucian Bute vs. Carl Froch. Jean wasn’t available to the press due to the intense nature of the negotiations.
So Showtime doesn’t want to invest in Bute vs. Froch.
Not the “home and away” deal.
Heck, not even for one fight in April.
So what does this say?
This says Showtime is putting it’s foot down and wants the fight the rest of the world wants, Lucian Bute vs. Andre Ward.
When it became clear that the best fighter in the division wasn’t even involved in the tournament they had invested so much into, Showtime wisely signed Lucian Bute to a 3-fight deal in late 2010. The idea? They’d be contractually enabled to match Lucian with the winner of their “Super Six” tournament; that winner was decided in December when Andre Ward rolled over Carl Froch in style.
Interestingly, Andre Ward wasn’t so eager to step up and fight Lucian Bute.
“To be perfectly honest, no disrespect to Bute and his team, but they’ve sat back and they’ve fought B-level and C-level guys and he did what he was supposed to do,” said Ward. “He stopped them and he’s gotten them out of there. But he’s just been sitting back, waiting, while we’ve been fighting for the past two and a half years against top-level competition.”
Well, now that Lucian Bute is available, with no contractual obligations holding him back…will Andre Ward step up and take his challenge?
Clearly, Lucian Bute wants Andre Ward.
“I am ready to fight the winner,” said Bute to ESPN before the “Super Six” final. “If Carl Froch wins, I’m ready to fight in Nottingham to make this fight happen. And if it’s Ward, I can go to Oakland.”
Well, Andre Ward won and wants none of Bute.
Bute and Froch have no issue fighting each other…but Showtime won’t bankroll it.
It’s no wonder, knowing that Showtime invested so much in not only the “Super Six,” but Lucian Bute . Showtime now simply wants to have the rights to televise the fight that everyone else wants to see: Lucian Bute vs. Andre Ward.
The fight can be made.
Lucian Bute wants it.
Showtime wants it.
The world wants it.
Will Andre Ward take it?
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @hansolson