With Julio Cesar Chavez Jr coming up injured or whatever ahead of a planned April fight against WBC super middleweight titleholder Badou Jack, the Mayweather Promotions fighter needed a new opponent, and has found one in Lucian Bute. The two will fight on April 30 on Showtime, with another super middleweight world title bout in the co-feature, featuring James DeGale against mandatory challenger Rogelio Medina for the IBF belt.
Jack (20-1-1, 12 KO) beat Anthony Dirrell last April to win the title, and defended successfully in September against George Groves on the Mayweather-Berto undercard. Both fights were competitive, but saw Jack reach the potential that he was thought to have for years, prior to a shock loss to Derek Edwards in early 2014.
Bute (32-3, 25 KO) is coming off of a spirited but clear loss to DeGale in November, and probably didn't expect to get another world title shot or Showtime main event so quickly, but here we are. The 36-year-old Romanian-Canadian has lost three of his last fight, but there may be some question as to whether or not Jack is on the same level as the men who have beaten Bute -- along with DeGale, Bute has lost to Carl Froch and Jean Pascal in his last five fights.
DeGale (22-1, 14 KO) may be the best in the world at 168 pounds right now, and was hoping to face Jack in a unification fight. But there would be no belt for him to bring to a unification if he doesn't get through a mandatory defense against Medina (36-6, 30 KO), a 26-year-old Mexican puncher who stopped J'Leon Love in 2014, which is his biggest win to date. Medina has fought Jack before, losing by sixth round TKO in 2013, so the two titleholders on this card are defending against guys that the other one has already beaten, with the plan clearly to make a Jack-DeGale fight for the summer or fall if both are victorious.