Tag Archives: lucian bute

Montreal Iced Over~~Lucian Bute vs Jean Pascal

The NABF light heavyweight title Lucien Bute won from Denis Grachev in 2012 is up for grabs for the first “big” fight of 2014, Saturday, January 18th in Montreal at the Bell Centre. There’s no hometown advantage as both fighters enjoyed their greatest success there as very popular assimilated Canadians, Lucian Bute being from Romania and Jean Pascal from Haiti

Their biggest hurdles have been problematic setbacks that have knocked both from their prime form even though Pascal is only 31 and Bute only 33 years. Neither took much career punishment in the ring, yet how quickly they flamed out after being the toast of Montreal, now reduced to a squabble over the NABF bauble. The 37 year old previously unheralded ex-c0nvict Adonis Stevenson of Haiti has eclipsed the both of them in Montreal and in Ring ratings with a stunning year in 2013.

Who’d have thunk it two years ago?

Lucien Bute vs Jean Pascal

Lucien Bute vs Jean Pascal

 This will only be Bute’s 2nd bout at lightheavy after a long reign as the IBF supermiddleweight champ, 11-1, 8 KO in title bouts with a career mark of 31-1, 24 KO. He did not fight in 2013 after this May 2013 bout was originally rescheduled because of Pascal injuries and then rescheduled again. Whether Pascal can make it to the scratch line this time around on the fight date is unknown, but he still scrapes by with a #10 Ring ranking and amazingly #5 by Boxrec. Bute has dropped out of Boxrec rankings because of inactivity thanks to Pascal, yet amazingly hangs on to his #3 Ring ranking at supermiddle. Go figure since Ring will never be able to.

Pascal is the finer posing physical specimen,  yet woefully delicate with a distinct lack of stamina and pop. He’s 28-2-1, 17 KO for his career, yet never hurt much less knocked out a true world class contender in his five years at the top, 4-2-1, 1 KO overall in title fights. Somehow he managed to deck ol’man Bernard Hopkins twice early in their first fight before running around like a flapping headless chicken to let the uselessly flailing Hopkins back in the fight for a draw. Then he let the ol’timer whup him in the rematch that I will forever refuse to watch so as to save a modicum of respect for boxing.

So how much more disgrace can one fighter bear you might ask yourself?

Plenty more if Pascal plans on moving up to heavyweight as he made noises about, but such posing is what the French Canadians seem to be willing to pay for, so in that regard Pascal is a success. I wasn’t going to cover this fight because it will likely be so ugly as to defy polite descriptors, but since both were so popular in Montreal, there it is in a nutshell. Their suns are setting as they make one last run at a money fight.

Bute had a particularly shocking fall from grace when he was stopped after showing little punch resistance to big slugging Carl Froch as Bute did his best impersonation of a deer frozen in the headlights of a truck. He had been a long time Ring P4Per, an elite fighter scarcely needing to even break into a sweat from his compelling southpaw stance he was handling his competition so easily, but Carl Froch is cut from a different mold of the typical contender and former champions Bute had previously disposed. Bute had one good round where Froch absorbed the best he could throw, and then, poof, Bute folded and the damage was done, exacerbated by disgraceful British officiating as Froch and his promoter Hearns threw a party before the standing Bute had even taken a count by the referee.

I dare say a team of 8th graders could oversee a more respectable fight than the multitudes of n’er do wells running boxing these days, but 8th graders are legally frozen out of pro boxing.

Speaking of, I hear tell the curtains may be coming down on Montreal boxing, a shame if true. I’d surely think some youngsters must be in training to have a chance at such glory as has been fought for at the Bell Centre these past several years. Stevenson and the 25 year old David Lemieux look to have plenty more fights in them, so a stay of execution seems warranted for now.

Pascal and Bute are supposed to be dope tested by WADA whatever that means in the elusive world of ever changing testing parameters in the boxing and illicit drug testing cartel businesses. Bute should prevail against Pascal and could stage a title challenge at lightheavy this year, but he’s got to wrangle a decision from the forever fleeing Pascal, so who can say?

Maybe Pascal feels the pressure and makes a last stand for a classic encounter. There’s always hope in boxing land for a good fight, so let us hope for the sake of Montreal boxing they can break up this impacted ice flow.

Mikkel Kessler Rematches Carl Froch @ O2, London

Dateline: May 25, Saturday, the O2 Arena in London. Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch look to reprise their first classic encounter 3 years back that featured paralyzing exchanges and dramatic shifts in momentum as they battled ferociously to the final bell.

Last Time Out

Last Time Out

Kessler pulled away in the championship rounds to edge a unanimous decision,  winning the battle as it were, yet losing the war when he was forced to withdraw from the Showtime tourney, citing double vision. Froch went on to fight in the finale against Andre Ward in Madison Square Garden, losing a tough decision where he finished as the stronger fighter.

After taking a year off for rest and recovery, Kessler has staged a comeback against lesser competition to win back his WBA title. Meanwhile, Froch continues to fight the best opposition in boxing today, dethroning undefeated P4P phenom Lucian Bute who had scarcely dropped a round in his dominant multiple IBF defenses.

As such, Froch is expected to be the favorite, but there is no counting out Mikkel Kessler yet. With a record of 46-2, 35 KO, he knows a win here will further cement his already stellar career when he retires. Carl Froch is up there in credentials as well, even while sporting the lessor record on paper of 30-2, 22 and the slightly older age, 35 to Kessler’s younger 34 years.

The title fight numbers favor Kessler at 10-2 to Froch’s 7-2 record, but numbers won’t tell the story of this fight. I expect Kessler to box smarter this time as the more “damaged” fighter. It remains to be seen if he can in fact win a fair decision in England, but he took the fight knowing that Carl Froch has never been knocked out nor even buzzed much while on his run at the top levels of boxing, so the money available for such a prestigious fight was just too tempting to pass up.

Froch for his part knows that he could have boxed a bit smarter going down the stretch last time. He’s grown as a fighter, using previously untapped ring smarts since the Kessler battle and knows he’s the stronger fighter on the upswing. Whether he has the skills to tap into that strength to beat Kessler is his unknown in this fight. While doing a textbook job on taking Lucian Bute out of his comfort zone with unbelievable pressure, Froch arguably cracked as well when he and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, engaged in terribly unseemly celebrations in the ring as the beleaguered out of his league referee , Earl Brown, administered a count to Bute after a knockdown. Such transgressions in properly officiated fights almost always result in a disqualification for the fighter who’s training team entered into the ring while the fight was still in process.

Could be a great fight with proper officiating that does justice to the high level these fighters will be operating at, so the BBB of C has a chance to correct their sloppy oversight of the Bute fight. The fighters have relatively clean styles, usually foul and controversy free, so their fights are usually fan friendly  throwbacks to textbook boxing and slugging in context to the past history of great fighters.

The French Connection Goes to Sherwood Forest–Bute vs Froch

The lightly traveled Le Tombeur, Lucian Bute, makes his way to Merry Olde England through Sherwood Forest to the boxing ring of the Nottingham Arena to accept the honourable challenge by the infinitely game and dangerous Carl Froch.

That would be Saturday, May 26th British time. No word on whether the Nottingham sheriff will provide security, but fair to say some of Robin Hood’s Merry Men may swing down from the rafters for voracious support as typical of British fight fans.

Bute’s IBF supermiddleweight title will be up for grabs as well as his unblemished record, currently 12-0, 8 KO as the title holder, and 30-0, 24 KO for his career. I daresay that Lucian Bute sees respect as being up for grabs as well after being repeatedly tarred as a hometown Montreal fighter ducking out on the big fights of the Showtime Super Six tourney.

Lefty in Charge

Lefty in Charge

For the record, Bute was not invited, a serendipitous luck of fate since the tourney was poorly officiated and ended in a fizzle of fan support as  Andre Ward was hoisted as their new King.

The Showtime King’s first proclamation was that he wanted no part of Lucian Bute, so it was onward to the always ready to scrap Carl Froch who had Ward on unsteady legs in the final rounds of the tourney.

The First French Connection

The First French Connection

Carl Froch is an accomplished slugger who can match most any fighter today with the strongest competition over the past 4 years. Only Glen Johnson might have a shout on him. Normally Froch travels to his bouts, so this a welcome homecoming.

Bute is blessed with the fastest overall combination of hand and footspeed and steadiest balance anywhere near his division, and at age 32 seems to be just hitting his stride as a sharp hitting, sharp boxing lefty who is seldom contested in the ring. Froch will be the best fighter by a long shot Bute has ever faced, but it’s probable that conversely Bute is the best Froch has ever faced.

Froch has shown some very underrated boxing ability in the past, but at his heart he’s a fighter and slugger with good power and stamina, not an easy nut to crack. I look for Bute to fire up the turbines for a smooth flight about the ring as he softens up Froch with his blistering right jab during the tenderizing process.

As likable, credentialed, and game as Carl Froch is, he’ll be only a few weeks shy of his 35th birthday come fight night, so a lot of traditional strikes are against him, but one good shot changes everything in boxing, so therein is his hope. The first French Connection for Froch was his successful splash on the world stage, a hard fought Pascal win where he came on late to seize control of the fight, so he has that positive history.

Bute’s hope is another dominant performance and a superfight against whomever brings the money, but the economics are that Froch is currently the biggest attraction in the division. Bute will have to move up to lightheavy and travel to Denmark to face Mikkel Kessler or go home to face the fast starting, always fading Jean Pascal to match the purse and interest of this fight.

Should be interesting at a technical level at the very least and could be primal at it’s best if Froch surprises Bute with his best ever form.

Le Tombeur & The Road Warrior–Lucian Bute vs Glen Johnson

Not sure what Le Tombeur represents, but Lucian Bute is about as talented a southpaw boxer as you will find in the history of boxing, and at age 31 seems to be in the middle of his formidable prime.

Le Tombeur

Le Tombeur

There was much speculation as to why he was left out of the Showtime Super Six tourney, but it turned to be a blessing in disguise. The tourney has been poorly officiated with plenty of fighter hijinks in and out of the ring as postponements continue t0 mount. All the while Lucian Bute has been quietly minting Canadian dollars as the hometown hero and now he is perfectly poised for the 9th IBF defense of his supermiddle title.

Ol’ man Johnson is coming off an emergency replacement stint for the Showtime tourney where he gave a good account of himself, exactly what his growing legion of admirers have come to expect from the toughest fighter of his era. Yes sir, Glencoffe Johnson has been on a roll of sorts since 1999, not by his record, a mixed bag at 15-12-2, but by taking on the toughest schedule in boxing with almost every one of those fighters being Ring ranked if not also #1 and P4P ranked to boot.

Road Warrior @ Work

Road Warrior @ Work

He does most all of it on the road while giving up most of the other ring conditions as well, so here he is again just 5 months after a brutal bout against one of the premiere sluggers of this era preparing to tangle with Boxrec #1 supermiddle and hometown favorite, Lucian Bute.

How does he do it?

Older fighters often like to play with the old school card, but The Road Warrior is the genuine article and a modest man, so there’s never been a need for him to play it. A concern is that he will be 43 yrs old at the start of next year, and even the toughest man has to call it a day at some point. He did make British slugger Carl Froch work hard every minute of every round in a competitive effort, but Bute is a much trickier, much faster proposition entirely.

There is some hope in those war weary bones though. Even as Father Time is trying to chase him down, it turns out that Glen Johnson will be the toughest, most experienced and the best fighter Bute will have ever faced.

Johnson may be a bit slower than the fighter that ran over Roy Jones Jr, but he still applies relentless pressure no matter if he is winning or losing a boxing match, the kind of pressure that can cause an untested fighter to come unglued.

#1!
#1!

Bute has been to the well and back against Librado Andrade in a classic fight series, and he’s been on his own roll of 6 straight knockouts over a pretty fair collection of contenders, so this confrontation looks to be a heartstopper on paper since both are fan favorites and one will have to lose.

Saturday, Nov 5 at Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City for those who are interested in boxing history in the making.

Contender Star Brinkley Gets Shot at Lucian Bute

This October 15 on a low key Friday evening in Montreal, Canada, former Contender star and current IBF mandatory Jesse Brinkley gets a shot at Lucian Bute’s IBF crown.

Bute is the top ranked Ring and Boxrec supermiddleweight, a Romanian transplant fighting almost exclusively out of Montreal. His style is of a slick, quick, savvy southpaw not likely to lose any rounds against the overachieving Brinkley who has rebuilt his career the last 4 yrs in solid fashion to get to this point.

Jesse Brinkley with hair

Jesse Brinkley with hair

I hate to see a fine, popular, salt of the earth type of fighter get blown out of the water with little effort as is likely to befall Brinkley, but sometimes in the real world, nice guys lose, and there are no better fighters than Bute for him to lose to.

Brinkley will probably be pumped to the gills for this opportunity of a lifetime and he earned every minute that it lasts. It will be quite the experience for him in Montreal, one that he can pass on to the grandkids one day.

With some good luck combined with spot on timing, maybe Brinkley will land a few stingers on Bute and create some highlight footage for himself before succumbing to the inevitable.

Lucian Bute

Lucian Bute

There are of course much bigger fights for Bute in the grand future queue of things since he recently signed a lucrative contract with HBO.

That was unprecedented for a Montreal centric fighter, but the notion is to feed off the excitement of the Montreal crowd and eventually lure Bute in to Las Vegas for a superfight against the winner of the Showtime Super Six tourney, or at least one of the drop outs.

He also has another IBF mandatory, the undefeated Frenchman Jean Paul Mendy who fights out of Paris that should be a natural fit in Montreal or even Paris.

The biggest option would be to move up a division to challenge the very popular newly crowned Ring Champ, Montreal lightheavyweight Jean Pascal. 

HBO would be all over that fight in a heartbeat, doubtless the biggest Canadian promotion ever put together and a geniune modern day superfight. First things first, however, so Bute has to take care of at least one of his current mandatories in the here and now that can be quite treacherous for a champion with stars and dollar signs clouding his focus.

Brinkley vs Bute

Brinkley vs Bute

Gonna be a fun night that also sees two more popular Romanian transplants fighting out of Montreal, Adrian Diaconu and Ionut Dan Ion back in action, so tune in if you have the chance.

A Spritzer With Your Nightcap, Sir

A Spritzer With Your Nightcap, Sir