Bute dominates Grachev in impressive performance
By Scott Gilfoid: Former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (31-1, 24 KO’s) fought incredibly well tonight in defeating NABF light heavyweight champion Denis Grachev (12-1-1, 8 KO’s) by a 12 round unanimous decision at the Bell Centre, in Montreal, Canada. The final judges’ scores were 115-113, 118-110 and 116-112.
Believe me, the fight wasn’t as close as two of the scorecards would have you suggest. Bute played it safe in the first few rounds after a cut over his left eye and the bridge of his nose in the opening round. But by the 12th, Bute was throwing punches and tagging the Russian Grachev at will with beautiful left uppercuts and right hands and wowing the crowd.
Based on this fight I can see Bute avenging his loss to Carl Froch next March when the two meet up in Montreal in their rematch.
It was beautiful to watch Bute skillfully hit Grachev with picture perfect uppercuts when he least suspected and Bute was able to do this the entire fight.
If there’s any area where you can find a little criticism of Bute it’s his tendency tonight to retreat to the ropes and fighting from that position. Bute can’t do this against Froch because that’s how the Brit beat him last time. Bute has got to keep off the ropes if he wants to beat Froch in the ring. The other area where you can level a little criticism of Bute is with his work rate. He didn’t throw enough punches in the first 10 rounds. He was too cautious and he didn’t really let his hands go until the 11th and 12th rounds when Bute fought his heart out.
Bute showed tonight that he can beat a slugger in Grachev and take a major shot. In taking Grachev’s big shots, Bute proved that he’ll be able to take Froch’s big shots in March next year if Froch still wants the rematch.