Former super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute exercised his right to a rematch with new titleholder Carl Froch on Thursday, although they agreed they would both take interim bouts first.
Bute left the comforts of his adopted hometown of Montreal to travel to Froch's hometown of Nottingham, England, to defend the title on May 26, but was knocked out in the fifth round in a mild upset.
Bute had the right to demand an immediate rematch in Montreal, but the camps agreed they would instead each take one fight before meeting for a sequel in Montreal in March 2013.
Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, Froch's promoter, announced that Froch (29-2, 21 KOs) will make the first defense of his third title reign in the United Kingdom in November.
"Froch versus Bute has already gone down as one of the greatest nights in British boxing history," Hearn said. "It generated record television audiences and a sold-out arena where fans were treated to what many respected pundits and fighters have described as one of the best atmospheres ever felt in a British fight. Of course, like any fighter, Lucian is keen to avenge this defeat and, as per our agreement, has the opportunity to try to make that happen.
"Both myself and Lucian's promoter, Jean Bedard (of InterBox) feel that it is in the best interests of both fighters and any future rematch that both fighters will take an interim fight later this year. Froch versus Bute II in Montreal is a massive event and I'm sure that impressive victories for both men later this year will add further fuel to the fire."
Froch's opponent for his November fight has not been determined, Hearn said.
"We will be looking to announce an opponent for Carl in the next few weeks for another big fight in the U.K.," he said.
Bute (30-1, 24 KOs) also will fight in the fall, probably in Montreal or Quebec City, both places where he is a major draw, before looking forward to the Froch rematch, although no opponent has been selected for him, either.
"That was not the real Lucian Bute in that Nottingham ring on May 26," said Bute, who had made nine defenses before being cut down by Froch. "I spent the last few weeks reflecting about what went wrong, what happened, and the only thing that is crystal clear in my mind is that I want my rematch with Carl Froch as soon as possible."
Said Bedard, "There is no hiding the fact that the result on May 26 was hard on everyone. But even in defeat, in the locker room after the fight and the days following the loss, I still felt Lucian had the fire in his belly to come back stronger and demand his rematch with Froch. Matchroom is a great organization to work with and I have been speaking to Eddie once or twice a week since May 26. I almost know his number by heart."