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Bute opts for rematch after losing IBF super-middleweight title to Froch

07/05/2012 04:50 EDT | Updated 09/04/2012 05:12 EDT
MONTREAL - Montreal boxer Lucian Bute has chosen to face Carl Froch in a rematch despite the pasting he took while losing his International Boxing Federation title to the British brawler in May.

Bute (30-1) and Froch (29-2) will go at it a second time on either March 16 or March 23 at the Bell Centre, their promoters announced Thursday. To prepare for the rematch, both super middleweights plan to fight in November against opponents yet to be determined.

Froch pounded Bute early and often en route to a fifth round TKO in his home town of Sheffield, England on May 26. The fight contract included a rematch clause.

''It wasn't my best fight,'' said Bute, who spent a month on vacation after the fight in his native Romania. ''I lost that fight, but now I'm looking to the future.

''I want a rematch with Carl Froch. On May 26, it wasn't the real Lucian Bute. I've watched the video several times. I made a lot of mistakes. In the rematch, we'll correct everything I did wrong.''

The loss left Canada without a world champion in any of the fight sanctioning bodies. Former WBC champ Jean Pascal of Montreal will face IBF light heavyweight king Tavoris Cloud in a title bout Aug. 11 at the Bell Centre.

The 32-year-old Bute won the IBF title in 2007 and successfully defended it nine times before facing Froch, who was coming off a loss to slick American Andre Ward in the final of the Super-Six tournament in the super-middleweight division.

Bute had been criticized for padding his record by facing second-tier opponents, and the critics looked to be proved right when he was dominated by the 35-year-old Froch's power punching.

Bute's trainer Stephan Larouche said his fighter didn't throw enough of his own punches to keep Froch at bay. He said Bute had been knocked down once before by Librado Andrade and came back ''10 times stronger.

''I guarantee that, thanks to this defeat, Lucian will be better,'' said Larouche.

Froch's promoter Eddie Hearn, connected by phone to Bute's Bell Centre news conference, said his fighter was glad to accept a rematch in Bute's home town.

He called their bout ''the biggest night in British Boxing history."

''We have the utmost respect for Lucian," he said. "Carl won a lot easier and more comfortably than I expected. Lucian wants to avenge that like any good boxer would. On home turf, perhaps he can.''

He said it was best for both boxers to take one interim bout in November to help build drama for the rematch, which he predicted would be a ''mega-fight.''

Larouche said he will seek a heavy-hitting opponent like Froch to test Bute's chin ahead of the rematch.

When Bute's team announced the news conference this week there was speculation he may retire after such a crushing defeat.

Jean Bedard, head of Bute's promotion company InterBox, admitted there was concern in his camp.

''What was important was that Bute was OK physically, and to see how he was mentally,'' Bedard said. ''I was relieved to see him come back and want to get back in the ring right away.

''We'll do all we can to get Bute back to where he was before.''

Bute said he's ready.

''I'm strong mentally,'' he said. ''I believe in myself. I know I can get back to the level I was at before.

''That was his night and it was my worst night. He won clearly and I lost. But now we'll have a rematch and see what happens.''

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