Oh Canada: Pascal vs. Bute
Both fighters have peaked professionally, with losses to Carl Froch and Bernard Hopkins still fresh in most fight fans’ minds…
Two of Canada’s biggest stars, Jean Pascal (27-2-1, 16 KOs) and Lucian Bute (31-1, 24 KOs), have more or less agreed to meet and fight. Exactly when and where that fight will take place has yet to be determined, but it will be in Canada and the likely date will be May 25.
If the bout comes off, and given Pascal’s shoulder problems that “if” needs to be taken seriously, this will be the biggest fight in Canadian history. Though neither man was born in Canada—Pascal emigrated from Haiti while Bute originally hails from Romania—both have been embraced by the Quebecois as one, or rather two, of their own.
Bute will be moving up in weight to fight Pascal at light heavy. Both fighters have peaked professionally, with respective losses to Carl Froch and Bernard Hopkins still fresh in most fight fans’ minds. But those losses aside, this is a smart move for both men, financially as well as professionally, since the winner will have resurrected himself in the eyes of the boxing world.
Pascal was supposed to rematch with Chad Dawson, whom he defeated in August 2010, on May 25 in a fight broadcast by HBO. That fight, for better or worse, appears to have gone down the tubes. The public has always had an uneasy relationship with Chad Dawson, and his loss to Andre Ward in September has not helped. Whether Bute proves more of a draw that Dawson, at least as far as the fans and HBO are concerned, is something we’ll soon find out.
A fly in the ointment is the fact that HBO has agreed to broadcast Carl Froch vs. Mikkel Kessler on May 25 from London, a fight which everyone prefers to Pascal-Bute. There is talk of having both bouts on the same telecast, but given the six-hour time difference between London and Montreal, there are logistical and time-delay issues that need to be addressed for that to occur.
Dawson’s promoter Gary Shaw, who is nothing if not loyal, is unhappy at this recent turn of events. According to ESPN, Shaw met with Pascal’s promoter, Yvon Michel, in New York recently and Michel promised him that the fight was on.
“But remember,” said Shaw, “this is boxing and stranger things have happened.”