On Thursday, Super middleweight propsect Lucian Bute (11-0, 11 KOs; rated #28 by BoxingTalk #28) will be fighting in his hometown of Galati, Romania for the first time since turning pro. Bute is getting ready to face Donnie McCrary (9-1-1, 7 KOs) on Thursday. This will mark the first time a North American regional title (in this case, Bute's NABA belt) will be contested on European soil.
The apparent difficulty in obtaining visas led promoters Interbox to play musical chairs with opponents. McCrary was the third opponent officially announced for Bute, after Alfonso Mosquera and Jose Spearman.
Bute's homecoming was somewhat spoiled by the repeated attacks perpetrated by former WBA lightweight titleholder and Romanian living legend Leonard Dorin. Now retired and living in Romania to act as technical director for the national amateur boxing team, Dorin does not look to kindly on Bute's increasing popularity in his homeland. Dorin was quoted on Romanian TV saying: "How dare people compare him to me? I became a world amateur and professional champion, so he hasn't proved anything yet. Interbox must be lining up pretty bad opposition, because when he was an amateur he had no power. Now he's winning every fight by KO. There has to be something wrong."
Bute, an introverted, if not secretive young man, declined to throw any oil on the fire. He was quoted thus: "I really feel no need to answer Dorin's comments. I've always found him an inspiration, he was one of my childhood heroes."
Two of Bute's countrymen and Interbox stablemates will also be appearing at Galati, as unbeaten cruiserweight Adrian Diaconu (16-0, 9 KO) will be facing the experienced James Crawford (40-9-2, 17 KO), as a last minute replacement for Demetrius Jenkins, who was also uprooted by visa problems. Crawford faced Diaconu's boss, Éric Lucas, and lasted the full twelve rounds only one month ago.
Also, welterweight Ion Ionut "Jo-Jo" Dan (8-0, 5 KO) will face Bulgarian Ivo Golakov (14-15-1, 8 KO). Finally, 2004 Canadian Olympian Benoît Gaudet (2-0, 1 KO) will be squaring off against another Bulgarian, Wladimir Borov (14-21-1, 5 KO)