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Lucian Bute vs. Eleider Alvarez tonight on PPV

Lucian Bute

By Jim Dower: Former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (32-3-1, 25 KOs) will be fighting tonight in a WBC 175lb title eliminator against Eleider Alvarez (21-0, 10 KOs) on PPV from the Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada. This is a big fight for both of these Canadian based fighters. It’s not that either of them will have much chance of beating World Boxing Council light heavyweight champion Adonis “Super Man” Stevenson.

It’s more of the one of them getting a good payday in fighting Stevenson. Stevenson will be a clear favorite over the Bute vs. Alvarez winner. There’s no question about that.

Tonight’s Bute vs. Alvarez fight has a start time at 8PM ET, 5PM PT on pay-per-view. It’s going to be a lot of punching with both of these fighters, because they need to win to get to the next level. Bute especially needs a victory right now because he’s going through a dry spell with his career.

Bute is fighting well, but he’s come up short in his last two fights against James DeGale and Badou Jack. DeGale beat him by a 12 round decision in 2015, and Jack fought him to a 12 round draw last year. The victory was there for Bute in both fights if he’d been able to throw more punches. Jack was landing the harder blows, and that’s what impressed the judges enough to score the fight a draw. Bute actually improved his work rate from his previous fight against DeGale, but he didn’t have the power to match the shots that Jack was landing.

Bute has been facing a much higher level of opposition compared to Alvarez in the last five years of his career. Indeed, Bute has faced better opposition than Alvarez for the last eight years. One of the reasons for that is many of those years, Bute was the IBF 168lb champion. The 32-year-old Alvarez has been taking his boxing career slowly since he turned pro in 2009. He hasn’t really stepped it up yet other than his one fight against Isaac Chilemba in 2015, which he arguably should have lost.

“I am really, really confident going into this fight,” said Bute. “I respect Alvarez; he is the WBC No.1 ranked contender in the light heavyweight division. He is undefeated but my best moments as a professional boxer came here in Quebeck City and I am sure it will be another one of those moments Friday night. And it will be a spectacular fight for the fans,” said Bute.

Bute has obviously scouted out Alvarez well for him to feel confident of victory. Alvarez doesn’t have the talent that DeGale and Badou Jack possess. Bute won’t have to deal with the kind of boxing skills and punching power that he faced in those two fights. On paper, that should result in Bute getting the victory in this fight if he can stay on his feet entire fight, and not do something silly like backing up against the ropes like he did in his loss to Carl Froch in 2012. That was a fight that Bute did not fight smart.

Bute had been able to fight off the ropes in his two previous fights against Glen Johnson and Jean-Paul Mendy, and he obviously thought he could do the same thing against Froch. That turned out to be a huge mistake on Bute’s part, because Froch took advantage of his decision to trap himself and he quickly knocked him out with a flurry of punches.

“I have to win for my future and for my family,” said Alvarez. I will give everything. My time has come and I will make the best of it.”

Bute has the advantage in this fight, and he should be able to win. Alvarez is a good fighter, but he’s lacking in the experience and punching power department. Bute will certainly be looking to take advantage of Alvarez’s deficiencies by going after him and working him over.

The fight is in Quebec, and this means that Bute is going to likely have the crowd on his side. He has a lot of boxing fans that he’s won over through the years. Those fans will be rooting for him tonight. Bute seems to fight at a higher level when he’s being cheered rather than when he’s fighting an opponent in their country. Bute wasn’t the same fighter without the crowd on his side when he fought Badou Jack in the U.S and Carl Froch in the UK. Tonight, there shouldn’t be any reason for Bute not to be motivated fully, because he’s definitely going to have the crowd on his side.

Alvarez is a little younger than Bute, so a loss for him won’t be as big a deal. However, that doesn’t mean that a defeat won’t hurt his career. It’ll be a setback for sure. The thing is, Alvarez isn’t as equipped as some of the top light heavyweight contenders are in the division. Alvarez is ranked high, but there are some guys besides Bute that could be a real nightmare for him like Artur Beterbiev, Joe Smith Jr., Oleksandr Gvozyk, Sergey Kovalev and Anrzej Fonfara. Even if Alvarez beats Bute tonight, he’s still got some very tough fighters that he’ll be competing with in the future.

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