By Hans Olson
“I couldn’t believe my eyes—it’s not I thought would happen,” said promoter Chris Ganescu of Gankor Promotions to Boxing Insider on Tuesday evening in regards to former super middleweight champion Lucian Bute’s brutal loss to Carl Froch last Saturday in England.
A Romanian born Montreal resident, Ganescu is the man responsible for bringing Bute to Quebec many years ago.
“To me, it was very painful [to see]…it was such a disaster fight. I was very disappointed. It’s taken a couple days to really get over it. But, being in the boxing world for a long time I know that things like that can happen. Any boxer at any level has to have the strength to come back from a defeat. And I think that Lucian has the strength.”
Ganescu, who promotes top 147 pound fighter Jo Jo Dan, in addition to his work in the past with former champ Adrian Diaconu, played a pivotal role in Bute’s early years in the province.
“With Yvon Michel at the old Interbox, I went over to Romania to take the paperwork and bring [Bute] over to Canada first to to spar with Eric Lucas for a couple weeks, and then me and Yvon went back to bring him as the new Interbox recruit.”
“I was basically his advisor, and I was his advisor ever since he started with Interbox from 2003 all the way up until 2010.”
Though in 2010 that their professional relationship ended for reasons unknown, Chris and Lucian remain close friends.
I asked Chris his opinion on a rematch with Carl Froch. Would he take it?
“Not right away,” he said.
“My experience with boxing is that you have to recover psychologically first off and then physically. I don’t think that he’s that damaged at all, but emotionally I think it hurt his pride. He needs to get back on track where he was with his confidence. An immediate rematch as far as I’m concerned—to me it’s not an option. But like I said, I’m not involved with him, this is just a personal opinion. I don’t know what he will do, or what his advisors, team, management, promoters [want to do]. Whatever they do, I guess it’s a decision they’ll make when they sit down and analyze what happened. But if you ask me, I would advise against an immediate rematch.”
And if it happened in Montreal, does he feel things would be different?
“Yes. Yes, I think the outcome would have been different.”
There are some who have criticized Lucian Bute for fighting at home in Montreal. Now there are detractors who said going over to Nottingham was a mistake. Ganescu says he always felt Bute’s destiny was in the United States.
“Back in the early years, we started in Montreal. Very soon after that I realized that for a boxer to really reach his potential and become a huge star in the boxing world internationally, you have to hit the American market. I was happy when American TV started broadcasting his fights. I was disappointed when they passed on a couple of fights he had…he was going back and forth between HBO and Showtime…so it was good but eventually, in my opinion he had to fight in the States, or against an American name.”
When all is said and done, Chris still feels Bute has what it takes to become what he ultimately saw in him years ago.
“It’s a very hard defeat, but I think he has to strength to come back not the same, but better.”
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow @hansolson