“Canada’s Super Bowl”- Pascal vs Bute Results

By Steve Bateson on January 19, 2014
Pascal defeated Bute in the "Battle of Canada"

Jean Pascal moved himself back into contention for a world championship challenge as he secured a unanimous points victory over Lucian Bute on Saturday night.

In what was billed as “Canada’s Superbowl” this Light Heavyweight contest failed to live up to the expected fireworks but delivered an intriguing affair that suggested that perhaps both fighters are still some way short of their best, the glory days may in fact be over the hill and far away.

Pascal (now 27-2-1 with 17 KO’s) had warned that Bute’s career may be “over” after the beating he promised to deliver but after twelve rounds the Romanian born boxer may have lost but he certainly was far from disgraced.

The opening two rounds were slow, cagey and fairly ponderous. Bute reached with his jab, often missing its target, as Pascal feinted from right to left, as though sizing up the challenge that his opponent posed. The crowd inside the Bell Centre were vociferous in their support for Bute but a right hand from Pascal at the end of round two presented flashbacks of the five round demolition Bute had suffered at the hands of Carl Froch in 2012, many around ringside felt the former Super-Middleweight champion may unravel at any moment.

But Bute showed that he had learned from his past mistakes and tried to keep out of range whenever possible. His defense was ragged at times, still resembling a deer in the headlights, but Pascal’s tendency to throw single punches was helping his cause and he was able to regain a foothold in the fight as we reached halfway.

Pre-fight the expectation was that Pascal would adopt a similar tactic to Froch and swarm Bute but that failed to materialise and the Romanian was able to take centre ring for long periods. Bute’s jab, however, was merely prodding out, no spite and no snap, and nowhere near enough to discourage Pascal with the power that fight fans know he possesses. This allowed Pascal to pick and choose his moments for attack, usually in the last minute of each round, and overshadow any work that his rival may have done previously. Pascal was picking up rounds in the bank without ever having to overexert himself.

Round eight saw Pascal land with more power punches as he judged the distance better and Bute soon found himself on the canvass. The referee ruled it a slip and replays supported that decision, he was pushed, but a left hook did hit Bute flush on the jaw and once again displayed the evidence that perhaps his punch resistance isn’t his greatest asset. The crowd were still rowdy but the limited action was dulling their interest, neither fighter seemed willing to engage in too many meaningful attacks.

It wasn’t until an accidental clash of heads opened up a cut between Bute’s eyes in round ten that we finally saw some intent and purpose from the Stephane Larouche trained fighter. He put power behind his jab, pressed Pascal back to the ropes and looked for multiple openings to hurt his opponent. Pascal did not seem fazed, his corner assured him he was in control between rounds, but his lack of urgency and workrate in this fight will not stand him on good stead for the future.

The twelfth round started in bizarre fashion, Pascal waited on the ropes and invited Bute to come at him and land with hard hooks to the head. The Haitian was posing, content he had done enough, and Bute was never confident enough to fully throw caution to the wind. Bute took the last round, his jab proving the difference, but it was a little too late and it was evident that he knew it at the final bell.

Pascal, mentored by Roy Jones Jnr for this fight, was the clear victor with scores of: 116-112, 117-110 and 117-111.

The scores may have been a little wide, Pascal was not the dominant fighter but it proved that the judges had favoured aggression over Bute’s constant movement and jab. Pascal is now in line to face WBC Champion, Adonis Stevenson, in another huge Canadian clash whilst the future for Bute remains uncertain. It wasn’t a fight of the year contender and I have my reservations that either man will hold a world championship again but this is boxing and stranger things have happened.

The undercard:

Mike Perez can count himself a fortunate man to have picked up a majority draw in his ten round heavyweight contest with unheralded Carlos Takam from Cameroon. The question marks surrounded how Perez would perform after his gruelling and tragic fight with Magomed Abdusalamov back in November and after watching him it is fair to say that we were not watching the same fighter.

It is unknown if the injury to “Mago” is what caused Perez’s poor performance or perhaps the deep cut he suffered in the third round after a solid clash of heads. It may have even been the lack of time out of the gym (second fight in three months) that caused this lethargic display but whatever it was needs to be addressed soon before “The Rebel” finds himself slipping out of the WBC Championship shake-up.

Perez was expected to post an impressive victory over a game but untested Takam, furthering his chances of joining Bermaine Stiverne, Chris Arreola and Deontay Wilder in the WBC mix, but instead his stock took a hit and he will be forced to re-build again after this disappointing show.

The early rounds were dull, neither fighter throwing much at all, and it wasn’t until round six that Takam realised that Perez really wasn’t interested and that perhaps he could secure a career-defining win. Perez was forced to soak up some big punches in the final two rounds but he saw out the final stanza and kept his undefeated ledger, although many at ringside felt he did not deserve it.

A re-match may beckon, although fight fans will not clamour for it, because Perez still has questions to answer on whether or not the desire and drive remain to be a big game player in the blue ribbon division.

Canada’s adopted Colombian fighter, Eleider Alvarez was also victorious over ten rounds as he became the first man to defeat Andrew Gardiner (now 10-1 with 6 KO’s). Gardiner was a late substitute, filling in for South Africa’s Thomas Oosthuizen, but he didn’t look out of place as he frustrated and stifled his more talented opponent. This was supposed to be Alvarez’ chance to shine, proving he is ready to step up with the big names at Light Heavyweight, but at times he looked lazy and too willing to engage in a brawl that suited his foe to the ground. In the end it was Alvarez’ sharper work, a nice punch variety, and a dominant eighth round where he rocked Gardiner that was enough to secure him a unanimous decision.

Scores of 99-91, 96-93 and 97-93 saw Alvarez rise to 14-0 with 8 KO’s but there is still plenty of improvement needed if he wishes to challenge a world champion by the end of this calendar year. He may want to start with an attitude transplant, his petty display of unprofessionalism after the fight will not win him any fans, but I doubt that that is likely to happen,

Canada continues to grow as a key country on the boxing map and although this card may not be the best they have produced it was a good marker to build on for the rest of the year.

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  1. ROB 11:50pm, 01/28/2014

    PASCAL SHAKES BUTE!!!!

  2. Mike Schmidt 12:42pm, 01/20/2014

    Nice- and 100% right on about “The Storm” and his behaviour after the fight- keep em coming Sir.

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