Lucian Bute has run into some hurdles in trying to get his next fight. Currently is under contract for one fight with Showtime, and Showtime wants him to face Andre Ward, the winner of Super Six tournament. However, Andre Ward is healing from a broken hand sustained in the final and is looking to take some time off. This puts Lucian Bute in a tough position, because he has successfully negotiated with Carl Froch. He wants to step up in terms of competition, but Showtime won't let him face Carl Froch because then they will have to bid on a potential Ward-Bute fight.
Tonight, two intriguing developments have come out. First, is that Lucian Bute's promotional company Interbox will have a press conference tomorrow to announce his next opponent. The second development is that a source close to the negotiations explained the situation to Edward Chaykovsky of Boxing Scene.
"[Showtime is] afraid that Bute will beat Froch and then HBO would step in and purchase Bute's next fight at a very high price. So there are two possibilities. The first, is that Bute agrees to fight against Froch in a fight that Showtime won't broadcast, which leaves Bute with a one-fight obligation to the network. The other possibility is that InterBox works out a deal for a one-fight extension with Showtime."
So here's what I think Showtime should do in this situation. Let Bute fight Froch, but put in a provision that if Bute wins that his next fight has to be on Showtime. Or they could put in a ‘poison pill' clause, which would make it financially prohibitive for Bute to fight on HBO. Essentially make Bute pay Showtime $5 million to have his next fight on HBO. I really don't see how this is a big problem for Showtime if they play it the right way. How Showtime deals with this issue will be one of the first big tests of Showtime's new head of boxing Stephen Espinoza.