He will face an experienced opponent in William Joppy (39-4-1 30 KOs).
The 37-year-old Joppy is a three-time former WBA Super Middleweight champ, and is probably fighting for a world title for the last time in his career. Joppy will need every bit of his ring experience to defeat Bute.
Joppy faced a series of elite opponents during his career. Among his few career losses, one came at the hands of Felix Trinidad in 2001, and another was registered to Bernard Hopkins in 2003.
Bute, meanwhile, has yet to suffer a loss as a pro. His knockout ratio is excellent—only four of Bute's opponents have been able to finish their encounters with him.
That said, Joppy surely represents a threat to Bute's title. The former champion's record reveals his capacity to win a fight by KO.
The matchup is certainly a promising one, and once again the InterBox organization made an excellent decision in choosing an opponent for Bute. Should the champ retain his belt, the experience of fighting a former titleholder will be very good for Bute's evolution as a fighter.
If nothing else, the Bell Centre crowd is sure to attend to a great spectacle on February 29th.
(Picture: Lucian Bute, Canadian Press)