Per Ake Persson reported today that WBO super middleweight titlist Robert Stieglitz turned down a shot at IBF titlist Lucian Bute. Bute will fight on July 24 in Romania, but no opponent has been named. If the report is true, which the Stieglitz camp will either deny, "explain" or ignore soon enough, then that means that Bute's camp really did try to take just about the best fight they could right now. You can argue for Sakio Bika, but Bika is locked into a fight with Jesse Brinkley on May 28, with the winner getting a shot at Bute later this year.
It's kind of hard to figure out who Bute can fight right now. I don't think there's really anyone that will excite people, and it's made tougher by the fact that the fight's in Romania instead of Montreal. Brian Magee is currently the European titleholder, so maybe that could be an option, but Magee is 34 and has never been a true contender. Of course, they're not really going to get a true contender for a July 24 fight, so that might be irrelevant. Lots of European guys with shiny, empty records.
Honestly, you know what the best fight for him might be, strictly on paper? Jermain Taylor. It possibly makes no sense because Taylor might be flat-out finished physically, and I really doubt JT wants to go to Romania to fight Bute, and they probably don't want to pay an opponent like Taylor what he'll demand for a fight that isn't in Montreal even if Taylor is physically able to do it, but if you look at the super middleweights out there, he's among the best available options, assuming he's alright to fight again at some point.
In other news, Steve Cunningham made the wise decision and signed a contract with Sauerland Event. The best cruiserweight action is in Europe, Cunningham has fought over there before, and he doesn't mind doing it again. He already has a win over Marco Huck, the No. 2 cruiserweight in the world, but a rematch would be most welcome. The first fight was a good one, with Cunningham stopping Huck in the 12th round. Cunningham's career was grossly screwed up the last few years, and he's fought just once, off TV, since his Fight of the Year contender war with Tomasz Adamek in 2008. That's inexcusable. Glad to see Cunningham has gone to a promoter that will actually care about him and get him the fights he deserves.