by Hans Olson
Andre Ward, speaking with Elie Seckbach in a video uploaded March 29, 2011:
“Lucian Bute, man he’s doing a good job right now. He’s winning, he’s winning the way he’s supposed to win with the caliber of fighter that he’s fighting. That’s definitely somebody that after this tournament is over that should fight the Super Six winner. Because there’s too much argument; there’s too much confusion over who the best is. So the winner of this tournament should fight Lucian Bute for the Ring Magazine title.”
Note: Andre Ward won the Super Six tournament by defeating Carl Froch less than a year later, this past December 17, 2011.
Shortly before his winning performance over Carl Froch, Andre had an interview with Ciaran Gibbons in a video uploaded on Dec 6, 2011:
“It may be a move up. It may be Lucian Bute…it just depends…”
So Ward acknowledged Bute as being a guy he wanted…
A guy who deserves it…
Let’s go to an interview from June 2010 on On The Ropes Boxing Radio. Andre was asked who he would favor in the Super Six tournament if it weren’t him, but Lucian Bute in his place instead.
“I would have to have Bute and Dirrell as the top two guys on my list.”
Ok, so if Bute is good enough to be considered better than anyone else in the Super Six besides himself or Andre Dirrell…why is it that now Bute is not an elite fighter?
Hmmm….well let’s now take a look at the kind of stuff Andre Ward has been saying as of late…
This was in an interview with Radio Rahim uploaded by Seconds Out on December 28, 2011 shortly after Andre won the Super Six, and is now contractually free to fight anyone he wants. You would think now would be the perfect time to fight Lucian Bute, no?
Rahim makes it clear that Andre has in the past called out Lucian Bute and asks him his thoughts on fighting Lucian next…
“Well Bute’s a good fighter. It’s hard to say how good he is until he fights A-level competition. That’s not a knock on him that’s just the reality. We’ve been able to do that. I don’t know the different nuances with the negotiations prior to the Super Six and why he wasn’t in the tournament, I just feel like he had his opportunity to be in the tournament and he chose to opt out and he’s kind of sat on the sidelines and fought a certain level of competition. He’s done what he’s supposed to do with that competition, he’s gotten them out of there, but he’s also had a period of rest when the combatants in the Super Six have been grinding for the past two and half years. I just think he needs to fight some tougher fights, fight some A level guys and I think eventually the fight will be made.”
Note: It’s well known to everybody in boxing (except for Andre Ward apparently) that Lucian Bute was never, ever, at any point, ever….ever offered to fight in the Super Six.
I guess now that since Lucian Bute is available and willing, and now that Ward himself isn’t obligated to any fights…
…we need excuses as to why Bute doesn’t deserve to fight him.
Yes, the same guy who Ward called out years ago (when the fight couldn’t be made contractually); the same guy who Ward would had favored over just about any of his other opponents he had to “grind” against over two years; the same guy who he flat out said DESERVES to fight the winner of the Super Six………..
now needs to prove himself against the A-Level.
Well Andre, you’re an A-Level fighter. You’re also not contractually obligated. You’re also an American, something that Showtime has requested for Bute’s next fight (the last of HIS contract on Showtime.
Will you step up? Or will you take a cue from the opening line of Bute’s U2 ring entrance?
“I want to run, I want to hide…”
Boxing fans shouldn’t get their hopes up. I’m assuming the latter.
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @hansolson