By Allan Fox: Former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (31-1, 24 KO’s) isn’t worried in the least about him being the underdog for his fight this Saturday night against Jean Pascal (28-2-1, 17 KO’s) for their fight at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Bute, 33, sees this as the first time in his career that he’s been an underdog, but he expects it due to his stoppage loss to Carl Froch in May of 2012 and his less than impression showing in beating Denis Grachev in his last fight in November 2012. Pascal has been fighting better than Bute recently, albeit against weak opposition.
“I’m not surprised,” Bute said to RingTV in talking about him being the underdog against Pascal. “If you look at our records you can see that he’s been having some good fights. I failed against Carl Froch, so I’m not surprised. But this is the first time I’ve fought as an underdog, because I felt I as favored when I fought Carl Froch, and I’ve always been the favorite in the past.”
Bute shouldn’t think of it as a good thing that he’s considered the underdog, because that tells you that he’s being judged by others as not having the talent at this point in his career to beat Pascal. Bute needs to see this as a danger signal for him that he needs to be careful because he could end up getting knocked out again if he doesn’t raise his game to another level.
One thing that Bute has in his favor is that Pascal hasn’t beaten a good opponent for many years since his win over Chad Dawson in 2010. Pascal fought twice against Bernard Hopkins and received a 12 round draw and a decision loss. In his last two fights, he beat George Blades and Aleksy Kuziemski. Pascal struggled in the Kuziemski fight until stopping him.
Bute can’t afford to throw a lot of punches against Pascal because the chances are too high that he’ll walk into something big if he tries to let his hands go. Bute is better off jabbing, staying on the outside and waiting for Pascal to leave himself open for a big body shot. Bute could score a knockout if he can land with a hard shot to the body of Pascal.