By Allan Fox: A rusty NABF light heavyweight champion Lucian Bute (31-1, 24 KO’s) will be taking a very dangerous fight for him tonight against former WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (28-2-1, 17 KO’s) at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. Bute is the underdog in this fight, but not because Pascal is a great fighter or anything close to that.
Bute’s mainly the underdog because of his stoppage loss to Carl Froch in 2012, and then his shaky performance in his last fight in beating Denis Grachev. Some boxing fans are saying that Bute has lost a lot and is a shot fighter while others see it as a case that he was never that good to begin with and well-protected by his Canadian promoters.
There could be some mixture of truth in all of that. But the same can be said for Pascal. He’s a vulnerable fighter with plenty of flaws, and other than his fights against Froch, Chad Dawson and Bernard Hopkins, he’s not fought good opposition during his 9-year pro career.
For Bute to beat Pascal tonight, he’s going to need to be careful early in the fight because Pascal is basically a 4-round fighter. After 4 rounds, he fights 30 seconds of every round and gives away huge stretches where he does zero. Pascal has gotten away with this due to his poor opposition. Hopkins and Froch both exposed him. Dawson had Pascal on the verge of being knocked out in the fight, but Pascal grabbed Dawson in a clinch and rammed heads with him causing Dawson to suffer a bad cut over his right eye that led to the fight being halted. Pascal likely would have lost that fight had the referee not stopped it because he was ready to be knocked out by Dawson.
A crowd of 20,000 is expected to show tonight at the Bell Centre. For the Canadian fans, they don’t see this as two fighters on the downside of their careers. They see them as two high quality fighters. The fact that neither of them are fighting on a regular basis anymore due to their aging bodies breaking down on them seems to suggest that they are on the downside of their careers. For both of them this is about as good as it gets. If you throw either of them in with the best fighters in the division, Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson, it won’t be a pretty picture. They don’t match-up with either of them. You can include Hopkins in that mix as well. But it’s still a good fight even though it’s not the best that Canada has at this moment. This fight is more like picking the next victim for Kovalev or more likely Stevenson.