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Bute-Johnson = Another mismatch for Lucian

Glen Johnson Lucian ButeBy Dan Ambrose: IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (29-0, 23 KO’s) is making a name for himself as a fighter that has failed to live up to expectations that many boxing fans had for him after he captured the International Boxing Federation title in 2008.

Bute, 31, seems to be following in the footsteps of former super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe, a fighter that held the WBO title for 10 years but who failed to have one career defining fight during all that time. Bute, incredibly, has gone three years without facing any of the top super middleweights in the division like Carl Froch, Andre Ward, Andre Direll, Mikkel Kessler, or `Peter Quillin.

That streak won’t end soon, as Bute is facing 42-year-old Glen Johnson (51-15-2, 35 KO’s) on November 5th at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Some boxing fans desperate to finally see Bute face a live body are actually excited about this fight, and see Johnson as a threat to Bute. Believe me, he’s not a threat. This is just another easy fight for Bute.

Johnson has lost four out of his last eight fights, including his last one against WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch in June in a fight where Johnson was eliminated from the Super Six tournament. Johnson’s work rate has taken a huge drop, and it’s likely not to improve against the hit and run fighter Bute in November. This is a fight that would have been interesting to watch had it occurred 10 years ago, but not now. Johnson is too old, and he doesn’t have the wheels to chase Bute all around the ring. Bute has lost a lot of his mobility in recent years, but he’s still a hit and back off type fighter.

He doesn’t have the chin to stand in front of a fighter like Johnson, even the old version. If Bute stands there all night long, he’ll get knocked out. This is why Bute will run around and pound out a dull one-sided 12 round decision. Bute’s handlers were trying to match him against the slow Kelly Pavlik for November, but he had sense enough to realize the money wasn’t enough for him to take this fight.

He likely knew he would have had to chase Bute around the ring, and given that it would have taken place in Bute’s adopted country of Canada, where it’s sometimes difficult for foreign fighters to win decisions, Pavlik likely would have needed a knockout to win. The same applies for Johnson.

I think Bute will get beaten when he’s finally forced to fight a quality fighter like Froch, Kessler, Ward or Dirrell. How long boxing fans will have to wait for those fights to be made is anyone’s guess. I don’t see Bute facing any of them in 2011, and possibly not even 2012. He’s being matched carefully, and I suspect that will continue into the future.


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