Sunday, January 19, 2014

Jean Pascal VS Lucian Bute: Pascal Mostly Plays With Bute...Mostly




Defending a well regarded North American Light Heavyweight title, former Light Heavyweight Champion Jean Pascal uses his speed and his Roy Jones Junior inspired tricks to play with his fellow big time Canadian draw and former Super Middleweight Titlist Lucian Bute at the Bell Centre, in Montreal. Bute started well in the first round, ended well with a lot of action and guts, but simply couldn't pull the trigger on the lightning fast Pascal in a meaningful way through the majority of the fight. He was passionately urged by his trainer during the breaks but couldn't seem to figure out his former sparring partner. In some ways it reminded a lot of the rounds Chad Dawson dropped against Pascal. Jean can bamboozle with his style, as what's becoming known to many, as an "ambush style". Spurts and outbursts, in and out, speed of hand and foot, ambush, retreat, ambush retreat, lather, rinse and repeat, it goes. Only Bernard Hopkins seems to understand Pascal completely.

Whenever Bute started to get at all comfortable and land, Pascal would initiate a violent flurry to take the round, essentially. Some found his activity level lacking and losing more than a few rounds but I am not one of them. He displayed excellent ring generalship for most of the fight, though he was decidedly careless at times, showing little respect for Bute's known power. I think Bute's want to counter-punch was consistently nullified by Pascal turning the tables and waiting on him and beating him at his own game when he came forward. What I liked from Pascal tonight is that aside from the ambush flurries when they were needed, he had great success with right hand pot shots throughout as well.

Bute says he is disappointed and that it wasn't really him until the final round where there was great speculation as to whether Pascal was playing possum or seriously stunned, as he was almost without offense, being assaulted in the corner. Bute insists that he could come through in a rematch that he wants, but I think he knows he was soundly beaten, despite some very strange calls to the contrary, by the likes of Jim Watt.

In closing, Bute has heart but a sketchy future after his excellent career and Jean Pascal is definitely still a player at light heavyweight. It was a good night of boxing and a good choice of matches by HBO.

Broadcast notes: 

*HBO's TOTT listed an unofficial weigh-in weight/rehydrated weight as:
Pascal: 185 pounds
Bute: 184 pounds

*Bute's entrance/ring walk music is U2's Where The Streets Have No Name.

*Pascal's entrance/ring walk music is Roy Jones Junior's Ya'll Must've Forgot.

*Commentator Roy Jones Junior takes a break from his regular gig to coach in Jean Pascal's trainer, which Pascal thanks him for in the post-fight interview, calling Roy the best pound-for-pound.

*Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis Stevenson is interviewed before the match by Jim Lampley. Max Kellerman says Sergey Kovalev is the real number one contender in the division to Adonis' throne.

*Jim Lampley says of the attendance: "We got an announced crowd of 20, 479 in the Bell Centre, which means that both Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute will be fighting before the largest crowd ever to have seen them fight, here in Montreal, and both have sold a lot of tickets, prior to tonight."





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