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DeGale vs. Bute official for November 28th in Quebec City

bute2By Scott Gilfoid: The fight between IBF super middleweight champion James “Chunky” DeGale (21-1, 14 KOs) and 35-year-old former IBF 168lb champion Lucian Bute (32-2, 25 KOs) is officially set for November 28th on Showtime Sports Boxing at the Centre Videotron, Quebec City, in Quebec, Canada.

Having the DeGale vs. Bute fight on November 28th means that this fight will very likely be part of the Tyson Fury vs. Wladimir Klitschko pay-per-view card on Sky Box Office. I’m not sure that the boxing fans will be too keen at paying to see a mismatch between DeGale and Bute as part of the Klitschko-Fury PPV card.

I don’t see it as a fight that I would want to pay. If it was on free television and there nothing else to watch, the casual boxing fans might see it as something worth viewing. But with it likely being included on the Klitschko-Fury PPV fight event on Sky Box Office, fans will have no other choice but to see it if they order it.

Bute has a puncher’s chance of winning this fight if he goes after DeGale immediately and either goes for his midsection or his chin. I don’t think Bute will be willing to take that risk, but I think it’s the only real chance he has of winning the fight. The longer the fight goes the higher the certainty that DeGale will win. It’s a mismatch anyway, but a puncher like Bute will always have a chance of scoring a knockout against anyone if he fights aggressively.

While this is an interesting fight in some respects, it’s still a mismatch on paper because the #11 IBF Bute has done so little with his career in the last three years. Bute has lost 2 out of his last 4 fights, and his last important victory was against Glen Johnson in 2011.

“Done deal: DeGale-Bute on Nov. 28 in Quebec City on @SHOsports #boxing,” said Dan Rafael.

You can’t blame the 29-year-old DeGale and his promoter Eddie Hearn for wanting to take a fodder opponent for their voluntary defense, because a lot of champions do that when making obligatory title defenses. But you’d like to think that DeGale and Hearn would at least fight a guy whose career was somewhat still on the train tracks and going smoothly.

You can’t say Bute’s career is going well, as he appeared to leave the train tracks completely back in 2012, when he was knocked out in 5 rounds by Carl Froch in Nottingham, UK. It’s been all downhill for Bute since then with him losing to Jean Pascal in January of 2014. Bute didn’t fight at all in 2013 due to him dealing with injuries.

Recently, Bute defeated little known fighter named Andrea Di Luisa by a 4th round knockout last August on Premier Boxing Champions. This was a fight in which Bute was hurt briefly by a big shot from Di Luisa in the 4th round before recovering to come back and get the stoppage. It was not a good sign seeing Bute get hurt by an unknown fighter with no punching power like Di Luisa.

The British boxing public obviously knows who Bute is, but the ones that follow boxing on a regular basis obviously know that Bute left his prime behind in the rearview career 4-5 years ago. Bute hasn’t looked really sharp since stopping Jean-Paul Mendy in the 4th round in a mismatch in July 2011.

This was Bute’s sixth consecutive knockout at the time, albeit against weak opposition with wins over Mendy, Brian Magee, Jesse Brinkley, Edison Miranda, Librado Andrade, and Fulgencio Zuniga. Those guys are nowhere to be found in the top 15 at super middleweight nowadays, but even if they were still around and in their prime, I do see any of them being able to hang with the contenders nowadays. The super middleweight division has gotten better since Bute held the IBF title.

I wouldn’t say that Bute is a completely shot fighter. I think he never really was a really good fighter to begin with. He was a belt holder during one of the weak periods for the super middleweight division, and he was able to hold onto his IBF title for a five year period by fighting largely weak opposition.

DeGale is coming off the best win of his career last May in beating the talented Andre Dirrell by a 12 round decision. DeGale fought well in the first four rounds in knocking Dirrell down twice, but then he ran out of gas after the 4th and gave away most of the remaining rounds to Dirrell.

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