- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Montreal star and super middleweight titlist Lucian Bute has business to attend to when he defends his belt against former two-time titleholder Carl Froch in Froch's hometown of Nottingham, England on Saturday night (Epix and EpixHD.com, 6 ET), but that doesn't mean Bute doesn't pay attention to what else is going on in boxing -- especially when he has more than a passing interest in the outcome.
Bute had hoped to face Super Six World Boxing Classic winner Andre Ward on Saturday, but he wound up making a deal with tournament runner-up Froch when, for various reasons, the fight with Ward never emerged as a serious possibility.
Ward, who was dealing with a hand injury and now is awaiting the June birth of his child, won't be back until Sept. 8 and is in the process of finalizing a fight against light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson. The fight likely will be for Ward's super middleweight championship.
Bute will be paying attention because the winner could loom for him. Whomever wins, Bute against Ward or Dawson would be a pretty big fight.
So how does Bute think Ward-Dawson will go?
"I think that it just creates more popularity for the two guys, especially for Andre Ward, if it's a close fight," Bute said. "It's going to be a technical fight, [a strategic] fight, and I think that it doesn't interfere right now with what I am doing. And I think, at the end of the day, when you keep winning, everybody wants to see the winner at the end of the day, and the best fight the best."
But who does Bute think will win the fight?
"I think it's very, very close -- about 50-50,” Bute said. "But I would give a little edge to Dawson right now."