Thursday, March 17, 2011

Busy Combat Weekend: Lucian Bute vs. Brian Magee, Super Middleweight Clash

UFC 128 isn't the only big combat sports event scheduled for this weekend. ShowBox will feature a clash of rising super middleweights as European (EBU) Super Middleweight Champion Brian Magee will challenge Lucian "Mister KO" Bute for the IBF Supermiddleweight title. Irish slugger Magee, currently rides a six-fight win streak, and is hungry for the title. A win for Bute will set up a meeting with the eventual victor of the Super Six boxing tournament. Is it too early to predict a Bute-Ward match?

ShoBox video preview below.'s weekend chaser follows:

Date: Saturday, March 19, 2011
Bout: Lucian Bute vs. Brian Magee
Rounds: 12
Weight Class: Super Middleweight
Title: International Boxing Federation Super Middleweight Title
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Television: Showtime

The backdrop: The first fight of Bute’s three-bout deal with Showtime is the proverbial “gimme” if the undefeated titleholder is the best super middleweight in the world, as some believe. If Bute (27-0, 22 KOs), a 31-year-old Romanian based in Quebec, is not the elite fighter he seems to be, he’ll have his hands full with Magee (34-3-1, 24 KOs), an experienced and well-rounded veteran from Ireland who has shown the best form of his career in recent bouts. The undercard (which will not be part of the Showtime broadcast) features Quebec-based super middleweight veteran Renan St-Juste and undefeated junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan.

Also fighting: Renan St-Juste vs. Fulgencio Zuniga, 10 rounds, super middleweights; Vanes Martirosyan vs. Bladimir Hernandez, 8 rounds, junior middleweights.

Rating the card: B-. Bute is one of the most-talented boxers in the sport but this fight is a mere appetizer before he really challenges himself against the likes of Mikkel Kessler and the eventual winner of the Super Six tournament.

Prediction: Bute may or may not be the sport’s best 168 pounder (a distinction many give undefeated American beltholder Andre Ward), but he’s too skilled, too slick, too fast and too powerful for Magee to compete with over 12 rounds. Bute by late stoppage.

Preview Props:

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