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February 27, 2021

Boxing: Lucian Bute to defend IBF title against Magee

MONTREAL – Romanian boxer Lucian Bute will defend his International Boxing Fede­ra­tion super-middleweight title on March 19 at the Bell Centre in Montreal against Brian Magee, the British and European champion, it was announced by In­ter­Box, Bute’s promoter. The 12-round bout is the first since Bute signed a three-fight contract last month with Showtime, a U.S.-based specialty channel with 19 million subscribers. The deal is believed to pay Bute USD 2-million per bout, according to montrealgazette.com.

Bute is undefeated in 27 fights, including 22 knockouts, and is coming off a ninth-round KO against American Jesse Brinkley. Magee, 34-3-1 with 24 KOs, might not be a household name in North America, but he’s rated first by the World Boxing Association and is undefeated in 10 bouts. His purse is believed to be slightly more than $200,000.

Magee’s best known for being stopped in the 11th by Froch in May 2006 for the British title. Magee was knocked down from a huge right uppercut in the opening round, arose and valiantly continued for 10 more rounds until being felled by another uppercut. However, he was trailing by only a point on two of the judges’ scorecards at the time.

“That was Carl’s hardest fight,” said Mick Hennessy, Froch’s promoter. “Brian’s underrated and underestimated. He’s a smart and educated fighter. He can box and fight and is good to the body. He has good timing and distance. Magee’s got to be fully focused. Quebec fans are very passionate. He’s got to shut that out, and he will, because he has travelled a lot. He’s got to fight smart, but has the potential to give Lucian his trickiest fight. This is a justified fight and Brian Magee’s been waiting a long time.”

This marks the third time in his career that Bute has fought a fellow southpaw. He stopped Zane Marks in 2004, in only the fourth fight of his career. Three years later, Bute scored a unanimous 12-round decision against Sergey Tatevosyan. Bute and his trainer, Stephane Larouche, will hold camp in Miami beginning Jan 17.

“Not all southpaws are the same. I’ll have to study Magee and adjust,” Bute said. “I’ll follow him and see his weaknesses, while neutralizing what he does well. He’s a good boxer and he’s aggressive. This is going to be a very competitive fight. He’ll give everything because this is a big chance for him.”

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