SAN DIEGO, January 18, 2014 – Montreal has become one of the world’s great cities for boxing. All the elements were in place for exciting fights for the 20,400 fans packing the Bell Centre. It didn’t quite get them at the level they’ve come to expect from fighters like hometown hero Adonis Stevenson.
Nevertheless, they cheered on Canadian light heavyweights Jean Pascal and Lucien Bute in the “Canadian Championship” as Pascal got a unanimous decision over a lackluster Bute.
Perhaps it was ring rust, perhaps it was his repaired broken hand, perhaps he’s never really recovered from his TKO loss to Carl Froch. For most of the fight, Bute (31-2-0, 24 KOs), seemed tentative, a pale version of the boxer who thrilled fans with knockout victories. The counterpuncher couldn’t figure out his opponent Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KOs), who won most of the rounds on the three judges scorecards with his more aggressive approach.
Bute finally came alive in the final round, pinning Pascal in a corner and connecting with well placed punches. But it was far too little too late. Even with the late flurry, Pascal connected on more punches overall (187 to Bute’s 150) and far more power punches (151 to 102). Pascal’s secret weapon was going to the body with 85 punches; Bute only conneted on 22 body shots to Pascal.
By the end of the bout, Bute’s left eye was swollen and it was clear he had taken most of the damage. The judges’ decision was no surprise.
After the fight, Bute told HBO’s Max Kellerman he was disappointed. “I worked hard, I trained well … For some reason my arms weren’t working.” Bute said the real Lucien Bute fans saw was the Lucien Bute in the 12th round.
Pascal gave credit to former title holder Roy Jones Junior who helped train him for the fight with Bute for his victory. “Thanks Roy, the best pound for pound primetime of all time. He’s a humble man, a down to earth guy.” Pascal also thanked the fans of Quebec including the Bute fans who packed the Bell Centre for the fight.
The winner of this fight appeared to be heading for a showdown with Montreal’s Stevenson. In this case he would be fighting another Haitian immigrant to Canada. Based on tonight’s effort, it wouldn’t matter which opponent Stevenson faced. He’d mow down either of them. Stevenson was in the Bell Centre getting a good look at Pascal and Bute. He would love to take Pascal out to avenge a pair of amateur losses to Pascal earlier in his career.
The televised undercard was also a highly anticipated fight that didn’t live up to expectations. Mike Perez of Ireland (20-0-1, 12 KOs) and Carlos Takam of Cameroon (29-1-1, 23 KOs) fought to a majority draw in their ten round heavyweight bout. It was Perez’s first fight after winning a 10-round decision over Magomed Abdulsalamov in November which left Abdulsalamov fighting for his life in a come due to a blood clot on the brain. Perez had dedicated the fight to “Mago” and had his name on his trunks. He never seemed to get his motor running against Takam the way he did against Mago. Takam started off slow but gained momentum and won the draw by winning the last few rounds of the bout.
Perez will need to go back to the drawing board and decide whether his heart is still in the sport. He would not be the first boxer to end his career after seriously hurting an opponent.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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