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by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) - Last weeks 131st edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio (brought to you by CWH Promotions) featured an exclusive interview with reigning IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (28-0, 23 KOs) who is scheduled to face mandatory challenger Jean Paul Mendy (29-0-1, 16 KOs) tomorrow night in Romania. Bute spoke about his upcoming title defense, and also touched on a variety of other topics including the Super Six Boxing Classic, Manny Pacquiao, a potential fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather, Bernard Hopkinss historic victory against Jean Pascal, Kelly Pavlik, Mikkel Kessler, and more! Here is what he had to say:

Regarding how he feels about his upcoming title defense against Jean Paul Mendy:

I feel great. I trained very hard for this fight.

On how it feels to be fighting again in Romania for the second time during his professional career:

The first time I fought in Romania it was for a belt. The first fight for me in Romania was in 2005 in Galati, and now its in the capital Bucharest.

His response to fans and detractors who criticize the competition he has been facing:

You know Jean Paul Mendy is the mandatory fighter. After the mandatory Im ready to fight anybody in this category at 168. Im ready to fight!

On whether he was disappointed that it does not appear he will be facing Mikkel Kessler next later this year:

Yeah! You know my promoter had made an offer to Kessler to fight with me in November, and Kessler refused the fight.

His views on the fact that Mikkel Kessler will likely be facing Robert Stieglitz next:

I dont know. Maybe Kessler thinks its an easier fight for him.

His views on the Super Six super middleweight tournament:

Well its a very interesting tournament. It has very good fighters inside the tournament with good experience. Now is the Final between Ward and Carl Froch. For me, Im ready to fight the winner and Im ready to fight all of the fighters who participated in this tournament. Im the world champion in the IBF super middleweight and Im ready to fight with everybody!

Regarding who he believes will win the Super Six Final matchup between Andre Ward and Carl Froch:

In my opinion, I think Ward wins this fight because Ward is more talented with more speed, and I think Andre Ward will win this fight and the tournament, too.

On whether he would prefer to face Andre Ward instead of Carl Froch:

No, Im ready to fight Andre Ward or Carl Froch.

On whether he ever considered making the move up to 175 pounds at light heavyweight:

No, for the moment I will stay at 168. I feel great in this category. I dont have a problem making weight, and I will stay here for one more or two years. I dont know.

On what he considers to be the best aspect of his game that he brings into the ring with him:

I think Im very strong for this category. Im in good shape every time. My speed is a big key in my strategy.

Regarding a potential fight between him and former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik:

At this moment Im very confident for my next fight against Jean Paul Mendy on July 9. Its very important for me. It is a fight for the title and Im very confident for this fight. After that I say Im ready to fight everybody, maybe Kelly Pavlik. Thats no problem for me. Hes a very good fighter. Kelly Pavlik was a great champion and he is a good boxer. Im ready for a fight with him.

His views on Bernard Hopkins historic victory when he beat Jean Pascal to become the oldest boxer to win a major world championship:

It was a very interesting fight. Congratulations for Hopkins. Hes 46 years old and it was a great, great, great performance in becoming the world champion. It was a great job for him and I have even more respect for him. Hes a great champion.

His views on boxings biggest star Manny Pacquiao:

Manny is a great fighter. Hes very serious and he trains very hard. He has more ability and hes a very strong fighter. I have a lot of respect for him and like him as a fighter.

On whether he believes a fight between many Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather might happen sometime next year and who he believes would win:

In the last two years Mayweather doesnt fight. It will be very difficult for him because hes not active. Pacquiao is active! He fights two times a year I think and with this fight, everybody waits for this fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather. In my opinion I think Manny Pacquiao will win with Mayweather. I have a lot of respect for Mayweather. Hes a great champion and a very good fighter, but in my opinion Pacquiao would win this fight.

Regarding what he feels will be his biggest asset going into his fight against Jean Paul Mendy:

With Mendy, I have seen more fights with Mendy. Hes a good southpaw like me. He has a good left hook, a good left uppercut, and hes a strong fighter. You know Ive trained very hard. Ive had good sparring and I feel great. Ill wait until July 9 for this fight. My objective is to stay world champion.

His official prediction for his July 9 fight against Jean Paul Mendy:

As I said, my objective is to win this fight. It may be a decision, it may be before a decision. I dont know, but its important for me to stay world champion.

On whether he would be interested in having a fight with Bernard Hopkins given the fact Hopkins has previously stated Bute is on his radar:

Of course, of course! Im ready. For me it would be an honor to fight with Bernard Hopkins. He is a legend in boxing. Maybe within the next year we can have a great fight with Lucian Bute and Bernard Hopkins in Montreal or in the United States.

Regarding what fans can expect from him for the rest of 2011:

Well my next fight is July 9 in Romania. After that Im supposed to fight in November.

On what he would like to say to all of his fans and supporters:

I want to say thank you to all of my fans in Canada and the United States and all of the world, and thank you very much for your support.
Big Slim Sweet
Not surprising. Kessler all but said in his last post fight interview that he was fighting Stieglitz next. All signs point to Bute facing Pavlik in November, which is just another asinine decision by Pavlik's handlers. Not that I think Bute all world or that Kelly if clean and focused doesn't have a shot.
QUOTE (Big Slim Sweet @ Jul 9 2011, 07:38 AM) *
Not surprising. Kessler all but said in his last post fight interview that he was fighting Stieglitz next. All signs point to Bute facing Pavlik in November, which is just another asinine decision by Pavlik's handlers. Not that I think Bute all world or that Kelly if clean and focused doesn't have a shot.

According to Pavlik is fighting in Ohio in August. I obviously agree that Pavlik has to be clean and focused to beat Bute. The fact that he's fighting in early August is a good sign.

Bute is one of the most overrated guys in the sport. He's never faced a top contender and he has a very questionable chin. And while Bute's style is similar to the style that Hopkins and Martinez used to take advantage of Pavlik's complete lack of footwork, I think Pavlik should have a really good chance of beating Bute by ko if he uses his jab.

And if Pavlik isn't going to make one more run at being a top fighter now, then when?

And if he beats Bute, he's got a fair number of paydays still left in his career.

If I was Arum I'd be throwing these dice all day.
Not that I think that Pavlik would beat Bute but it would be interesting to see how Bute responds to getting tagged.
and the NEW
Thx for the interview Fitz, wouldn't have seen it otherwise.

Bute sounds very honest.

Although he does have talent, I can't rank him properly yet until he faces a Dirrell, Froch, Ward or Kessler.
Bernard Hopkins permanently ruined Kelly Pavlik.

I've got Bute by late stoppage or wide UD.
We definitely need to see Bute in there with better competition soon. But I liked his interview and I enjoy watching him fight, and I think he has a serious chance to be the best of the division. Just from what I have seen, I would place him right behind Ward at this point.
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