QUEBEC CITY, CANADA (Nov. 2, 2011) – A sea of media turned out at the popular Quebec sports bar La Cage Aux Sports for a chance to hear from undefeated superstar Lucian Bute and former world champ Glen “The Road Warrior” Johnson on Wednesday, just three days before Bute makes the ninth defense of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) Super Middleweight title on Saturday, Nov. 5, live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
The SHOWTIME Championship Boxing event, which will originate from Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, also features a 12-round junior welterweight bout between rising Canadian 140-pound star Pier-Olivier Côté (17-0, 11 KOs), of Quebec City and Jorge Luis Teron (25-2-1, 17 KOs), of the Bronx, New York.
One of the largest box office draws in boxing, the undefeated, Romanian-born Bute will enter the ring with an unblemished record of 29-0 with 24 KOs. Bute has registered knockouts in seven of his eight title defenses and has only gone the distance five times in his professional career.
Johnson (51-15-2, 35 KOs), a legend for his bouts against Roy Jones Jr., Bernard Hopkins and Antonio Tarver, will make his 10th appearance in a world title fight. The 42-year-old Jamaican-born Johnson has fought out of Miami for almost two decades. The former world champ, who earned the nickname “The Road Warrior” for never shying away from challenging an opponent on his home turf, will once again travel to enemy territory for a shot at a championship.
The winner of Bute-Johnson could likely meet the winner of the Super Six World Boxing Classic, which concludes on Saturday, Dec. 17, on SHOWTIME. World champions Andre Ward (World Boxing Association) and Carl Froch (World Boxing Council) will clash in the The Final of the Super Six in a showdown that will determine the world’s best 168-pound fighter.
What the participants had to say on Wednesday:
“I’m very happy to be here in Quebec. Like everyone knows, I have great memories here. In 2009, I experienced the best moment of my career which was my big victory in the second (Librado) Andrade fight in front of a sold out crowd at the Pepsi Coliseum. I’m certain that Saturday will yield the same result. The Coliseum will be rocking again and excitement will be in the air.
“I was in training camp for three months. I know Glen Johnson is prepared. He is a very good boxer with lots and lots of experience. I did not take him lightly because I know that a victory over Glen will catapult me to the next level.
“Thank you very much to the city and to all InterBox sponsors for making me feel at home and opening the door again to box at the Pepsi Coliseum. Thank you to the media for being present. Thank you for the City of Quebec for all the support. I would like to thank SHOWTIME for showing my fight. Thanks to Glen Johnson and his team.”
“It’s going to be a good fight Saturday night. It’s going to be a war, an exciting war. And SHOWTIME and the people will have a great show.
“Thanks to SHOWTIME for continuing to show my fights and move my career in the right direction and for giving me the opportunity to achieve my goals.
“Lucian Bute, thanks to him and his team for the opportunity.
“Thanks to my team, trainer, promoters and manager for being with me during the ups and downs in my career. I know I can be difficult sometimes and I appreciate it.”
CHRIS DeBLASIO: Senior Director of Sports Communications, Showtime Networks Inc.:
“This is the type of fight that has defined SHOWTIME boxing over the years - a tough, competitive and meaningful matchup in a talented and deep division.
“Glen Johnson is the consummate professional. Through nearly 70 professional fights, Glen has shown the willingness to go anywhere and fight anyone. And he doesn't just show up in any arena, any country, Glen brings everything he's got into the ring every time.
“As for Lucian Bute, he has proven to be one of the most talented and exciting fighters in boxing. He's expressed a willingness to fight the very best in the division. And now he has that opportunity in front of him.
“Together Glen Johnson and Lucian Bute embody everything that is right about boxing. They embody the true essence of sport and competition. On behalf of everyone at SHOWTIME Sports, we are proud to be part of this terrific event and proud that we can continue to deliver the best boxing on television to our loyal subscribers.”
JEAN BEDARD, President of InterBox:
“InterBox is extremely thrilled to return to Quebec City to present the ninth title defense for Lucian Bute against Glen Johnson. I've been associated with boxing for seven years and, looking back, one of my fondest memories was being in the car coming back from Quebec City with Lucian and (trainer) Stephan (Larouche), with the Black Eyed Peas' song ‘I've got a Feeling’ blasting on the radio after an incredible victory over Librado Andrade. I have a feeling that I'm going to relive the same memory on Saturday night.
“Everybody is telling me that Glen Johnson represents the biggest challenge in Lucian's career. We'll see if that's true the night of the fight. “Lucian gets better with every fight and this fight will be no different.
“One of the advantages to being a promoter is that I can focus on promoting. I have a great team behind me who work out all the necessary details and I put all of my faith in Stephan Larouche to take care of Lucian and his preparations - which is a given because with Lucian, the last thing you need to worry about is his preparation.
“A tremendous amount of work goes into preparing a quality event like this. I'd like to thank SHOWTIME personally for coming to Quebec and to the media who always come out in droves, and to all of our partners including Coors Light and La Cage Aux Sports who have all found a way to make this event the biggest it can be.”
LEON MARGULES, Warriors Boxing:
“I'd like to thank SHOWTIME once again for putting on a really spectacular boxing event. What SHOWTIME has done with the Super Six tournament and other fights in the super middleweight division has been outstanding. It's the best division in boxing.
“Quebec has some of the best boxing fans in North America, maybe the world. I was excited to come up here. I know this is work for me but the atmosphere will be electric.”
STEPHAN LAROUCHE, Bute’s Trainer:
“When Glen and Lucian would spar, everyone in the gym would stop training to watch them fight. As a trainer, I thought, ‘If this is a sparring session, what would a fight be like?’ Saturday, we all get to find out.”
ORLANDO CUELLAR, Johnson’s Trainer:
“It's going to be a good fight. Lucian is a good fighter but no good fighter stays undefeated for a long time. Fighters have to take chances, like Lucian is with Glen. We respect them but we came here to take care of business. On Saturday, we will.”
Steve Albert will call the action with Al Bernstein and Antonio Tarver providing color commentary and Jim Gray serving as ringside reporter. David Dinkins Jr. is the executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports with Ray Smaltz producing and Bob Dunphy directing.
Who Should Floyd Mayweather fight next: