Bute to defend IBF super-middleweight belt against Miranda April 17
Unbeaten Lucian Bute of Montreal will defend his IBF super-middleweight title for the fifth time against hard-hitting Edison Miranda.
InterBox announced last week the 12-round bout will take place April 17 at the Bell Centre.
It promises to be a clash of styles as the slick southpaw Bute (25-0, 20 knockouts) faces a dangerous knockout puncher in Miranda (33-4-0, 29 KOs), a Colombian known as Pantera.
The 29-year-old Miranda's only losses have been to quality opponents, including a controversial 2006 defeat by unanimous decision to Arthur Abraham in which the German suffered a suspected broken jaw in the fourth round but was allowed to continue fighting.
He also lost at middleweight to American Kelly Pavlik in 2007 and was stopped in four rounds of a rematch with Abraham the following year. He lost a decision to rising American star Andre Ward as a super-middleweight (168 pounds) last May.
"I am taking Miranda very seriously," Bute said in a statement. "He demolished many good fighters and is a notorious puncher. I will have to keep my concentration level high to stay champion."
Miranda's record includes a win over talented Briton Howard Eastman and he inflicted the only career defeat on American Allan (Ghost Dog) Green, who has replaced Jermain Taylor on the Super Six Classic tournament on the U.S. network Showtime.
Bute was not invited to join the Super Six even though he is rated as the world's top super-middleweight by "The Ring" magazine.
Instead, the Bute-Miranda bout will go head-to-head on April 17 with two fights in Round Two of the Super Six - Carl Froch against Mikkel Kessler in Demark and Green versus Andre Ward in Oakland, Calif. The other bout has Abraham against Andre Dirrell on March 6 in the U.S.
Bute won the IBF title in 2007 with an 11-round win over Alejandro Berrio of Colombia.
After an easy defence against William Joppy, Bute nearly lost the belt when he was floored late in the final round by the tenacious Librado Andrade at the Bell Centre in 2008. Some felt Bute benefited from a long count by referee Marlon Wright that allowed him to finish the round and win by decision.
Bute made quick work of another Colombian, Fulgencio Zuniga, last March and then knocked out Andrade in the fourth round of a rematch before 16,000 in Quebec City in November.
Like Andrade, Miranda is expected to go on attack, although Bute should be the heavy favourite with his superior speed and variety of weapons. Miranda is ranked ninth by the IBF.
"Once again we have two world-class athletes with different styles that when mixed together have all the ingredients to explode," Bute's trainer Stephan Larouche said of the fight.