A Bute Painted with Pascal

By Michael Schmidt on January 10, 2014
A Bute Painted with Pascal
Bute and Pascal were developed in Quebec and come with outstanding amateur pedigree.

This fight was originally announced, with promotional flare worthy of Doc Kearns and Tex Rickard, as the biggest fight in Canadian history…

“People are no fools. Even in my neck of the woods, boxers like Lucian Bute – a Romanian who moved to Quebec, became a local hero, and held the IBF Super Middleweight Champion title for as long as he could with lucrative over-protected defenses – are sooner or later being forced ‘by money’ to go abroad and fight a decent opponent. And then, the truth always comes out. Quebec fans and sponsors realized belatedly that they’d been cheated by the promoter and the fighter’s whole entourage for many years. Don’t get me wrong: apart from being a gentleman, Bute is an elite fighter, but if you take the best tennis player in the world out of his ‘league,’ have him play for two years against only-adequate opponents and then send him back to Wimbledon against the top 20 rackets, chances are he won’t be able to return one serve.”—The Future of Boxing” by Alexandre Choko, 2012 (Quebec)

On January 18th Lucian Bute will fight Jean Pascal at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. This is a bout that has been delayed since May of last year. Both Bute 31-1 (24 KOs) and Pascal 27-2-1 (16 KOs) were developed, professionally, in Quebec and come with outstanding amateur pedigree.

In the case of Pascal, he was Amateur Canadian Boxer of the Year from 2001-2003, a 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medalist, and a 2003 Pan American Games bronze medalist. The thirty-one-year-old Jean-Thenistor Pascal, born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, has won only two fights in the last three and a half years and clearly his two fights against Bernard Hopkins derailed his otherwise juggernaut ascension to the top of the light heavyweight division. He is currently a BoxRec rated number five and Ring Magazine year-end pound-for-pound number fifty-eight. 

Bute, who will be thirty-four at the end of February, born in Romania, similarly to Pascal, had an outstanding amateur career winning a bronze medal at the 1999 World Amateur Boxing Championships and winning three fights at the 2003 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Thailand before losing to a Russian. Due to inactivity he is not currently ranked by BoxRec but is listed as a year-end pound-for-pound number sixty-eight with Ring Magazine. Like Pascal, a possibly career defining loss, in this case to Carl Froch, and injuries, have left Bute relatively inactive, having fought only once since the May 2012 loss to Froch.

This fight was originally announced, with promotional flare worthy of Doc Kearns and Tex Rickard, as the biggest fight in Canadian history. Of course that moniker would clearly be labeled and deserved to the historic first Duran vs. Leonard fight of 1980. That fight ranks as one of the biggest fights of all time and packed Montreal’s Olympic Stadium with 46,317 spectators. Duran and Leonard were poster boys from Newsweek, to Time, and the cover of Sports Illustrated. Duran and Leonard of course were boxing better days with Bob Arum and Don King teaming up for a co-promotion of the event. Better times when the best fought their best against another best! Having said all of that, Pascal and Bute are two of the biggest boxing stars in Quebec the past few years (prior to Superman Stevenson’s ascension to the light heavyweight throne). 

Bute and Pascal are reportedly guaranteed an even two million dollars each. To the victor goes a spot, high in the rankings, in what may be, by the end of the year, the hottest division in boxing. To the loser comes some serious boardroom discussions with their promoter and advisors as to the long road back or fade away time. 

Two rival boxing promoters in the same backyard, in Yvon Michel’s GYM Boxing Promotions and Jean Bedard’s InterBox Promotions, have come together, with the assistance of HBO money and coverage, to put an interesting home based and home grown fight together. Odds this past week were very close. Given each fighter’s most recent background much is at stake in the overall big picture of the light heavyweight division unfolding this year. It should be an entertaining and competitive fight. 

In all likelihood you can look forward to Hopkins fighting WBA champion Beibut Shumenov early in the spring and hopefully HBO forcibly suggests Stevenson to fight Kovalev. Cobra Froch’s recent fight won’t rule him out as a very viable light heavyweight opponent.  As well the wonderfully gifted Andre Ward should move up into the mix.  Ward, for this writer, grows tiresome in his subtle calling out of Golovkin. The Middleweight Champion has unfinished business in his division with an assortment of challengers starting with the obvious, Sergio Martinez. All of these fighters are at an age and pedigree that they are looking for a further, big year, big fight. Exciting light heavyweight times for sure.

All the best to two young men, Bute and Pascal. We sometimes forget that these boxers are young men who have sacrificed a great deal on a personal level to get to where they are. Bute has come a long way since he arrived in Quebec in 2003. He has given back greatly to his adopted community and became a Canadian citizen in March of last year. He is a gentleman and a class act. 

Jean Pascal, who started boxing at the age of thirteen, brings speed and excitement to the squared circle. I have not had the pleasure of meeting the champion Pascal but most certainly have had the pleasure of his boxing entertainment having sat ringside immediately behind the Hopkins corner, first fight. Nurtured and boxing matured of two different promoters, Bute and Pascal are two different entertainment personalities. Bute’s personal website paints a picture of a socially well-rounded individual. Pascal’s personal website is surely all about Jean and one gets a flavor of things with respect to one of the column pop-ups, “Next Victim.”

The boxing landscapes, like life landscapes, can turn in a hurry and most certainly with the geography of a mere six inches compounded by the pounding of a flashing fist. Much has happened since the publication of “The Future of Boxing.” This is a big money fight that is not abroad and although I’m not sure tennis analogies are appropriate in the warrior business I will jump in and say Bute and Pascal are back in a Grand Slam event, albeit it is not Wimbledon. (We’ll leave that analogy for the Cobra!) Rest assured both will be returning one hundred plus per hour serves!  “And then the truth always comes out…”

Side Note

“The Future of Boxing” is a great read and more so for the fact that the boxers are permitted to offer their own input and direct comments. Couple that with a stunning array of wonderful colorful photography and it makes for a lovely addition to anyone’s boxing library. I must tell you that I would heartily disagree with Mr. Choko’s comments on Bute and company. A boxer, if he is lucky, has the backing of a man of substantial means, and in this case it would be multimillionaire businessman Jean Bedard. Boxers, with such backing are often put in a position to win at the highest level while making substantial financial gain. That has been done for Bute and that Bute has done. Bute was put in the right place at the right time to fight Froch and unfortunately, as things go, he lost—and lost big! The truth that will come out, I suspect, at least for this writer, was whether or not we saw a prime Bute against Froch or whether for various reasons, it was a very very bad night in a sport not allowing of a night gone bad.

Waiting in the distance, hopefully, the move up to light heavyweight by Andre Ward.  Not quite the days of the red hot late 1970s of the likes of Victor Galindez, John Conteh, Richie Kates, Yaqui Lopez, Jorge Ahumada, Mike Rossman, and Marvin Johnson, and the early 1980s of the likes of Saad Muhammad, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and James Scott but exciting times for sure. 

I can’t help but recall having dinner in Las Vegas recently with Beibut Shumenov and company. We were talking, from a historical context, that boxers often have a three-year peak and that the Champion Shumenov’s timing to get back in the mix was perfect as the light heavyweight division was heating up in a hurry. The Champion’s eyes, like a predator jungle cat, subtlety lit up. A group of light heavyweights are about to be lit up starting with one of Bute and Pascal painting the other up!

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Lucian Bute vs Jean Pascal Promotional Video


Bute vs Pascal Promo 1 Lucian Bute Video ( Way Productions )

Bute vs Pascal promo 2 Jean Pascal Video ( Way Productions )

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  1. mike schmidt 07:36am, 01/14/2014

    Been across the pond -sorry for the delay- thanks to all on the posts. Whip sorry I missed the gym anniversary - was out of Country for weekend, back and then gone again- Whip, Champ Chuvalo, Weasel, and Tommy the driver all in one room- all we needed was big John Vanderpool in the fray ( might I add Sir Whip that I had a nice winter walk with big John on King Street the other day- who should we bump into but old Canadian Champ Gary Broughton out for his daily walk down to the coffee shop!!). Carlito good to see you’re back from El Nica land- trust you had a great time with your lovely lady and yes Beibut is one big strong dude for 175- incredible discipline and focus- hell of a great guy to boot, this Beibut!! Adios for now and thanks again all

  2. Ted 01:44pm, 01/13/2014

    Watch Perez

  3. Carlos Varela Jr. 10:33am, 01/13/2014

    Great fight for Canada, and great fight for Montreal my only regret is that it did not happen 5 or 10 years ago, watching Bute last two fights and Pascal latest fights the scale incline a little toward Pascal great for professional boxing in Canada big boxing card where the main event and most of the undercard are local fighters if is going to be a historical fight we will have the answer to that question at the end of the night, Schmidt remember Shumenot in Panama what a specimen I am more excited about him and Bernard to be honest.

  4. Fitz The Whip 04:53pm, 01/12/2014

    Ok here we are looking at a high profile fight in Montreal next to a Sugar Ray Leonard vs Roberto Duran fight. Pascal vs Bute…How do you say no mas in Romanian . This is a good write up with some interesting questions to an intriguing match up Schmidty ..Bute has had several successful defenses of his IBF Supper middleweight title but has been inactive of late.  Pascal , a good puncher has lost 2 fights to the Legendary BHop. I say it comes down to who wants it more and will go the extra mile.
    Great job to both Montreal based promotions for coming together and making this fight happen.

  5. Ted 12:31pm, 01/12/2014


  6. raxman 11:59pm, 01/11/2014

    ted - as proven by his dismantling and destruction of bute in the amo’s!!!

  7. Ted 06:15pm, 01/11/2014

    RAXMAN, GGG s a tad better than Bute pound for pound.

    Pascal has the advantage of having fought the far superior opposition.

  8. raxman 05:53pm, 01/11/2014

    irish - i’ve alway seen bute as a hype job. long before my crying out for GGG to step it up - i put bute on the protected species list. i’ve never been so satisfied by a sporting event, both emotionally (being proved right) and financially (i believe froch at about 7-2).
    i think froch has given pascal the blue print to beat bute - there is a thing about southpaws, and this is at all levels of boxing including the top, some lefties, not all, but many, just cannot fight off the back foot.  Froch walked thru Bute ,and pushed back he just didn’t have a clue. if Pascal goes it like that i reckon he’ll have a short night. he needs to go hard early
    bute has one chance though. i agree with ted the bull that he has a good hybrid hook/uppercut but he couldn’t counter froch so i don’t see him countering the faster pascal (faster than froch i mean) i think it has to be his left uppercut to the body. this punch is one of the best body punches in the business, but from memory he needs a somewhat passive opponent to land it. and by passive i mean an opponent who is waiting and letting Bute go first. Bute gets his opponent on their back foot and follows the 1-2 with a jab-rip that is a killer - but no. no way. pascal is a legit talent at 175 as he was at 168. and the only time bute has stepped into the ring with a real opponent he was stopped early. pascal in 3-5 if he goes for it.

  9. Ted 07:49am, 01/11/2014

    Bute did not look good in his last outing and that bothers me because I want him to win. Pascal has a habit of lunging in and if Bute can time that with one of his hybrid uppercuts (half hook/half uppercut), he could close the show.

    Curiously, neither fighter is a born Canadian. One from Haiti, one from Romania. And that’s what makes Montreal a great city.

    Let’s get this one on!

  10. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:16pm, 01/10/2014

    Mike Schmidt-This is a great lead in to this interesting match up….from your report I gather that you see this fight as a tough one to call…...maybe not…..but then you didn’t say. For my part I do see it as a head scratcher…..I think I’ll leave the betting on this bout to Raxman who seems to discern the intangibles just fine,  thank you….anyway, I am betting that you will be there or be square….don’t forget your pocket notebook and your mini digital recorder.

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