Canada's Lucien Bute vs (The Other) James Toney In Montreal Tonight

15.09.06 - By Jacqui Snow: These days, Canada's great white northern boxing hopes are pinned pretty much exclusively on southpaw Lucien "Le Tombeur" Bute (17-0, 15 KOs). Bute is a hard-hitting Romanian who now fights out of Montreal. He puts his undefeated record on the line tonight, September 15th, when he takes on James Obede Toney (20-1-1, 18 KOs) for the NABF, NABA and WBC Continental Super Middleweight titles. Montreal's boxing scene has a small but rabid fan base and more than seven thousand tickets have been sold for the bout, which takes place at the Bell Center..

Bute started his career by knocking out his first fifteen opponents—twelve of those in four rounds or less. He won his first minor title in February 2005 by knocking out Carl Handy (19-5-2, 13 KOs) in the fourth round to claim the vacant NABF Light Heavyweight title. Just a month later, he knocked out Christian Cruz (9-1-1, 7 KOs) in the 12th to claim the vacant NABA Super Middleweight title.

In September 2005, Bute fought for the NABF and WBC titles against Egypt's Kabary Salem (23-4, 12 KOs), whose previous fight against the division kingpin Joe Calzaghe went the distance. Salem weighed in at 172 ½ pounds, well above the 168 pound limit, and was thus ineligible for the titles. After a slow start, Bute went on to dominate the action, throwing sharp jabs and combinations and ultimately knocking his opponent down against the ropes in the eighth round. Salem, who'd never been stopped in his career, failed to answer the bell for the ninth. Bute's most recent two fights, against Andre Thysse (19-5-0, 11 KOs) in March and Lolenga Mock (25-10-1, 10 KOs) in May, both went the entire 12 rounds.

On the surface, Toney would appear to be a pretty solid opponent for Bute, but his deceptively good-looking record has been artificially built up in his home country of Ghana against laughably poor opposition. Eleven of his knockout victims had a combined record of 0-0-0! Bute is currently ranked 8th by Ring Magazine, 10th by the WBA and 13th by the WBC, so it's disappointing that he's chosen Toney for his next foe. Bute is expected to delight his home crowd with a blowout win tonight, but he'll probably need a couple of tune-up fights against better competition before he can call out Joe Calzaghe.

Article posted on 16.09.2006

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