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Bute-Miranda Overview

Lucian Bute is the unbeaten IBF super middleweight champion, but the transplanted Romanian has managed to stay below the fold of boxing's biggest headliners.

Though Bute (25-0, 20 KOs) will be the hometown favorite Saturday night at Montreal's Bell Centre, he'll be defending his 168-pound title at the opening of HBO's World Championship Boxing telecast (10 ET), while middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik and challenger Sergio Martinez will close the show in the scheduled 12-round main event from Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall.

It's not that Bute's scheduled 12-round title bout against hard-hitting Edison Miranda (33-4, 29 KOs)  doesn't measure up to top billing. Both fighters have solid pedigrees and either name would be an attractive entry to anyone's victim list.

Both are still hungry fighters, with Bute, 30, just as eager as Miranda, 29, to seize every opportunity for greater visibility and credibility.

 "I am taking Miranda very seriously,'' Bute says. "He demolished many good fighters and is a notorious puncher. I will have to keep my concentration level on high, show my speed, footwork, and ability, to stay champion."
Bute's fourth and most recent defense of his crown was at Quebec City's Pepsi Coliseum in November. He delighted fans with a fourth-round KO against Librado Andrade in a rematch of their October 2008 bout in Montreal, which Bute also won, by unanimous decision.

 "I saw the first fight between Bute and Andrade,'' Miranda says. "He (Bute) won my heart. ... In the 12th round, Bute was hurt and Andrade hit him, knocked him down, and he still got up. I said he is a real champion. He fights with his heart like me."

Miranda has battled some of the best opponents of his era, with wins over fighters like Allan Green and Howard Eastman.

The problem, as Miranda's manager Steve Benbasat notes, has been that his fighter's losses have come against the most elite boxers he's faced, including Pavlik, Andre  Ward and Arthur Abraham (twice).  Bute might be the biggest challenge yet, and Miranda's goal is to rise to the occasion.

 "We have a tough task ahead of us,'' Benbasat says. "Miranda has fought Pavlik, Abraham twice and Ward, but this is the fight of our lives. We respect Bute. We are honored to be facing him. Montreal is the most exciting place to fight in Canada, probably No. 1 in North America. These fans have a passion for boxing. We want to put on a show."

Miranda used to be a noted trash talker, but hasn't expressed anything but sportsmanship.

"I don't feel I should disrespect a guy with a great heart," Miranda says.  "I have nothing against Bute, but I come to win. I may not win, but I guarantee you (the fans) will be very happy."

With Miranda expected to apply constant pressure in an all-out effort to use his power, Bute's superior boxing skills and southpaw stance could be enough to frustrate the Colombian slugger.

"Styles makes fights,'' says Bute's trainer, Stephan Larouche. "I know this is a boxing cliché, but it's the truth. We have two world-class athletes with different styles that, when mixed together, have all the ingredients to explode."

 

"I am taking Miranda very seriously,'' Bute says. "He demolished many good fighters and is a notorious puncher. I will have to keep my concentration level on high, show my speed, footwork, and ability, to stay champion."

Posted 12:00 AM | Apr 14, 2010

Kelly Pavlik vs. Sergio Martinez

HBO WCB - Apr. 17, 2010

Lucian Bute vs. Edison Miranda