Lucian Bute vs. Andrea De Luisa this Saturday, August 15th in Montreal, Canada
By Allan Fox: This Saturday night on August 15th, former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (31-2, 24 KOs) will be looking to shine against Andrea De Luisa (17-2, 13 KOs) in a 10 round bout on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC at Bute’s old haunt at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Bute won’t be coming down all the way to 168 pounds for this bout even though it’s been his best weight class his entire career. The fight will be fought at a catch-weight of 171lbs, which places it at light heavyweight.
Bute is still ranked by the World Boxing Council, which means that if WBC champion Badou Jack can successfully defend his WBC 168lb title next month against No.1 WBC challenger George Groves on September 12th, then there’s a very good chance that we could see Jack defending his title in early 2016 against Bute. It’s a fight that makes a lot of sense for both Jack and Bute, because both guys are with Al Haymon, so the fight would be a fairly easy one to get made. Jack just needs to do his thing against Groves by knocking him out and not letting the fight go to the scorecards.
“I’m ready and looking forward to going back in the ring,” Bute said to ESPN.com. “I have not lost my passion and I train six days a week, twice a day. I am excited to perform on the big stage on Aug. 15.”
If Bute can come into this Saturday’s fight 100 percent without any nagging injuries to slow him up, he might do well in this fight. He’s not matched against a big puncher, so there’s a good chance that Bute will impress in this fight. The times where Bute has struggled is when he’s faced hard hitters like Carl Froch, Denis Grachev and Pascal.
Despite the Bute-De Luisa being a mismatch, there will likely be a huge crowd at the Bell Center to see Bute fight because he’s got a lot of fans in Canada that love to see him fight, even when he faces guys that aren’t in the same league as him like De Luisa.
Bute, 35, has a lot of rust to get out of his system in his fight this Saturday night against the 33-year-old De Luisa. Bute hasn’t fought in 19 months since his one-sided 12 round unanimous decision loss to Jean Pascal in January 2014. That was a bad loss for Bute because he didn’t really let his hands go in that fight. He mostly stood around trying not to get hit and taking a lot of single pot shots from Pascal. When Bute did throw punches, he was immediately hit back by Pascal. That fight kind of showed that Bute wasn’t rugged enough to fight in the light heavyweight division. Bute has the power to fight at 175, but he doesn’t look comfortable taking power shots in return from fighters in that weight class.
Beating De Luisa won’t prove anything for Bute, because this is a fighter that is way out of his class. Bute just needs to prove that he can beat the top super middleweights like Jack, Groves, James DeGale, Arthur Abraham, the Dirrell brothers and Gilberto Ramirez.
Unfortunately for Bute, I’m not sure that he can beat any of those fighters. Bute’s best chance is to try and defeat Badou Jack, and then sit on the WBC title for a while in taking voluntary defenses before he’s forced to fight someone like Callum Smith, Gilberto Ramirez or Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
On the undercard of this Saturday’s Bute vs. De Luisa fight is undefeated light heavyweight contender Eleider Alvarez battling Isidro Prieto. It’s a mismatch, but at least Alvarez will continue to win. Alvarez is a good fighter. I’m not sure if he’s in the same league as some of the contenders like Artur Beterbiev, but he’s still a decent fighter.
I don’t see Alvarez as being in the same class as guys like Sergey Kovalev or Adonis Stevenson. But I think Alvarez is being angled to hang around and wait Stevenson and Kovalev out until they get old and either retire or lose enough of their talent to become beatable. Alvarez might not be able to hold on that long without having to face one or both of them and subsequently suffering a knockout loss. I don’t see Alvarez as being neither in their league nor in the same league as Beterbiev.