Bute-Di Luisa & Alvarez-Prieto make weight
By Allan Fox: Former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (31-2, 24 KOs) made weight today for his 10 round contest against Andrea Di Luisa (17-2, 6 KOs) on Saturday night on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC Sports Network from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. #6 WBC Bute, 35, weighed in at 170lbs. Di Luisa weighed in slightly less at 169.6lbs.
Bute is trying to rebuild his career after having suffered a loss to Jean Pascal in his last fight in January of last year, It was a really bad performance from Bute, who fought like he wasn’t mentally engaged for the fight.
Bute looked both timid and unmotivated. Bute is still having a hard time getting back to the level where he was before his loss to Carl Froch in May of 2012. Whether Bute wants to admit it or not, the defeat to Froch really undermined his confidence and caused his career to come grinding to a screeching stop. Further, Bute has had injury problems in the last year and a half that’s slowed him down in trying to get back into the ring.
You have to figure that age has a lot to do with it, because Bute wasn’t suffering injuries at the same alarming rate before he reach his early 30s. Bute was an iron horse before he hit his 30s. Now that he’s in his mid-30s, you’ve got to assume that the injuries will continue to plague him more and more, making it difficult for him to get back into the ring on a regular basis.
The World Boxing Council has given Bute a very generous ranking of #6 with their organization despite the fact that he hasn’t fought in almost two years. If Bute beats Di Luisa on Saturday night, then he’ll likely get pushed up to the top five in the WBC’s rankings. That’s a big deal because Bute will now be in position to get a world title shot against WBC champion Badou Jack.
Bute could wind up having to wait a while before he gets a world title fight if George Groves defeats Badou Jack in their upcoming fight on September 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Groves will almost surely fight IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale in a unification fight in his first fight after picking up the IBF title.
If Groves wins that fight, then you can expect to make a defense against #3 WBC Callum Smith of the UK. Bute probably won’t get a title shot against the WBC champion until 2017 at the earliest. That’ll make Bute 37. He’ll definitely be showing more age by that point in his career, and you’ll have to wonder whether he’ll be able to be counted on staying healthy enough to make it out of a training camp to fight any important fights.
In other weights on the card, undefeated WBC No.3 light heavyweight contender Eleider Alvarez (17-0, 10 KOs) weighed in at 174.2lbs for his fight against unbeaten #14 WBC Isidro Ranoni Prieto (24-0-3, 20 KOs). This is a considerable step up fight for Alvarez, as he’s been facing largely weak opposition his entire career.
Prieto is a fringe contender from Argentina because he’s a lot better than the guys that Alvarez has been facing thus far. That’s the whole problem with Alvarez. He’s 31-years-old and he’s facing his first contender since turning pro. What’s going to happen to Alvarez when he has to step inside the ring with the likes of Adonis Stevenson, Sergey Kovalev, Artur Beterbiev or Yunieski Gonzalez?
Right now, Alvarez isn’t showing the same kind of talent as those guys. Even someone like Sullivan Barrera looks better than Alvarez right now. Alvarez will get a world title fight at some point if he keeps fighting weak opposition, but he’s probably not going to be successful at all when he does fight for a world title. He doesn’t have the experience that needs for him to beat the better fighters. Alvarez is going to need to show what he can do sooner or later, because he can’t keep fighting the level of opposition that he’s been fighting his entire career.
Other weights on the card:
Erik Bazinyan 169.2 vs. Leeanthony Spitzka 174.4
Junior Ulysse 143.6 vs. Ryan Wagner 145.2
Bogdan Marius Dinu 244.4 vs. Ed Charles Perry 246.2
Vislan Dalkhaev 121.2 vs. Saul Tejada 121.2