Two dates on hold for Bute-Pascal

When former light heavyweight champ Jean Pascal and former super middleweight titlist Lucian Bute finally meet in an all-Canadian superfight, they will have both had a much longer layoff than anticipated.

They were supposed to fight on May 25 at the Bell Centre in Montreal -- where they are both stars -- but the fight was postponed when Bute, a southpaw, suffered a left hand injury and underwent surgery to repair it last week. He had several bone fragments removed from his hand during the 40-minute procedure. Pascal promoter Yvon Michel and Bute promoter InterBox plan on rescheduling the fight, but it's going to be a while.

They announced on Monday that the fight will be rescheduled at the Bell Centre, but not until either Dec. 7 or Jan. 25. They said two dates are on hold in order to afford HBO, which is responsible for most of the money going toward making the match, options when it comes to making its winter schedule.

The promoters said they will discuss the date options with HBO executives in the coming weeks before announcing the specific date.

Pascal (27-2-1, 16 KOs), 30, hasn't fought since easily outpointing Aleksy Kuziemski in a 10-round fight on Dec. 14, so he will have remained idle at least a year by the time the bout with Bute takes place.

Bute (31-1, 24 KOs), 33, who lost his title by fifth-round knockout to Carl Froch last May, hasn't fought since struggling in his comeback fight, a 12-round decision win against Denis Grachev on Nov. 3. Bute will have gone at least 13 months between fights by the time he faces Pascal.

Fans who bought tickets for the May 25 card -- which would have been a sellout -- will be able to use them for whichever new date is selected for the fight.