by Hans Olson
“People will judge after the Johnson fight if I’m a top super middleweight or not,” said Lucian Bute at an open workout for the media this past week in South Florida. “I faced my obligations as an IBF champion and fought top-rated opponents. Kessler and Pavlik refused to fight me. So now, I’m in front of the biggest challenge in my career and I want to win and make a statement. After this fight, I want to fight the Super Six winner.”
Bute will face the hardened veteran Glen “The Road Warrior” Johnson on Saturday, November 5th in Quebec City. It will be Lucian’s 9th defense of his IBF Super Middleweight title.
“Fighting in Quebec City is special for me,” said Bute. “I have very fond memories of my fight and big win in 2009 at the Pepsi Coliseum (against Librado Andrade) and I’m very happy to be fighting there again in front of my fans. Quebec City is a fight town, so I expect a great atmosphere come November 5.”
Bute, who had previously sparred with Glen Johnson in previous camps at the same gym, switched his training locale this time around, for obvious reasons.
“There are not so many differences in this training camp than others. We may have changed gyms and the city but the rest of my preparation is the same. I have good sparring partners with Alejandro Berrio and Randy Griffin. I’m halfway through my training camp and I feel very good. I’m in good shape. I expect a tough battle from Johnson so I have to be well prepared.”
Having knocked out his last 6 opponents, many fans are excited at the prospect of Lucian being the first man to stop Glen Johnson since Bernard Hopkins did so over 14 years ago.
Lucian however, is focused on winning and nothing else.
“I’m training for a 12-round fight. My objective is to win the fight and stay world champion. I don’t depend on the KO but if it comes that would be a terrific ending to my fight.”
Antonin Decarie is hard at work preparing for his October 20 clash with Jose Luis Castillo for the vacant NABF Welterweight title. I caught up with Antonin last week for a quick interview. Here’s what the Laval native had to say:
On Fighting Castillo:
“He’s a very heavy handed guy so we’ve got to be in tremendous shape. That’s the key I think. I’ve seen him fight a lot so I know the kind of fighter he is—but at the same time I have to make sure I don’t over-respect him because of the fact that I’ve seen him so many times. I’m going to have to respect the game plan obviously. Like I said, he’s a very heavy handed guy so we have to be very smart defensively.”
On his relationship with long time trainer Marc Ramsay:
“We get along real well. Marc and I, we go way back. I started boxing when I was 14 years old. Marc Ramsay was the assistant coach at the gym when I started and he was really taking care of me because he was younger then…so he wasn’t training the big guys at the gym. He was helping out beginners and I was one of those kids. Actually, Marc changed gyms and I stayed at my previous gym…but then at one point I guess I was missing him too much. I went and I changed gyms…so really Marc’s been training me since I was 14 years old so he knows me very well. We have a pretty good relationship. Marc is not an easy guy! You always have to push really hard for him to be happy. But it’s been a real good match for us.”
On his lone defeat, a close decision loss to Souleymane M’baye in 2010:
“It was a pretty disappointing event, but everything happens for a reason. It was a good experience I guess—I wasn’t seeing it that way right after the fight, but I’ve learned a lot of things. I think the fight against Alvarez showed that these adjustments were good for me. I still haven’t digested it properly. I’m still upset about the fight. Not the fact that I lost, you know it was a close fight—that’s ok. I’m not saying that I got robbed, but I know I didn’t perform the way I should have have. I was upset at myself more than anything. It was in the contract that he was supposed to give me a rematch but he never did. He was actually supposed to come here and fight me in Quebec at the Bell Centre but he never respected his words and he never gave me the fight. I was even willing to go back to Paris, France, to fight him again. I didn’t feel like the judges were a big thing. I think that the fight was very close. They gave it to him, but I’m sure that if I did better they would have given to me. So I would’ve went back…anyways…it’s part of the experience and hopefully whenever I get another shot a world title, I’ll be in a better position to win it this time.”
On a potential fight down the line with fellow Quebec Welterweight Jo Jo Dan:
“I think it would be a great fight. We’re both Canadian, we’re both in the same weight class, so it would be a fight that had to be done, but I don’t think to be honest with you that it’s ready yet. Boxing fans are interested in that fight, but it’s not a fight that people on the streets would be so interested in yet. I think that one of us, me or Jo Jo, have to win some kind of title. If he beats Selcuk Aydin and he wins the WBC Silver or something like that. If there’s something big on the line then it would make sense. But until then, it’s a little too early. But it’s going to have to happen one day just like Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal. They were both champions of the world and very close weight class at one point. It makes no sense to not give the fans what they want. One day I’m sure it’s going to happen. Me, I’m all for it. Let’s just make sure it’s at the right time.”
On Mayweather/Ortiz, and the controversial ending:
“I was watching it at home on HBO. My first reaction was, “Whoa man what a cheap shot!” But then, you watch it again and actually Floyd did give him a hug. At one point I think that Victor Ortiz kind of said too much. Ok, he hugged him like three times in the fight after the incident! At one point Floyd probably said ‘ok now lets fight!’ Also, you have to think about the mindset of Mayweather, after he just got head-butted. To be honest, it was a very cheap head-butt. So after a shot like that maybe I would’ve done the same thing. If it would have happened the other way around, if Floyd Mayweather head-butted Victor Ortiz and then after that Ortiz on the break knocked him out…I don’t think anybody would be complaining. They would be saying ‘wow, a former World Champion…he should know to protect himself at all times!’ If you take all that in consideration I think that it was ok. The only thing that sucked was everybody who paid for their ticket and everybody who bought the pay per view, we were expecting a great fight and it kind of ended up pretty bad. Other than that there’s nothing you can really say about Floyd Mayweather.”
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @hansolson