Former IBF 168lb champ Lucian Bute (32-2, 25 KOs) came out on top tonight in defeating Italy’s Andrea Di Luisa (17-3, 13 KOs) by a 4th round TKO after Di Luisa’s corner threw in the towel in the 4th round at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Bute knocked the 33-year-old, Ink-covered Di Luisa down with a left to the head in the 4th. Di Luisa got to his feet at the count of 8. When asked if he was okay, Di Luisa appeared to shake his head. The referee let it continue anyway. Moments later, Di Luisa’ corner threw in the towel and the fight was halted at 1:53 of the round. Bute was slightly hurt by a left hand from Di Luisa before the knockdown. The shot had Bute backing up, but he wasn’t badly hurt but he clearly was stunned by the shot from the Italian fighter.
The Bute-Di Luisa fight was televised on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC Sports Net.
Overall, it was a decent performance from Bute. He showed that he still has the punching power. He looks a little slower and little heavier than he did in his best years. He doesn’t move around the ring quite as well at age 35 as he did in his 20s. It’s understandable because he’s nearing 40 and he hadn’t fought in 19 months prior to tonight’s fight.
It looks like Bute is being built up by his management to get a fight against WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack if he can get past George Groves on September 12th. Bute and Jack are both with Al Haymon, so putting a fight together will be a very easy thing for him. But it’ll require that Jack somehow get past Groves.
If Groves wins, he’s going to be facing likely UK fighters like Callum Smith, James DeGale and Matthew Macklin for the next year and a half. I can’t see Groves facing Bute. Groves’ promoters at Sauerland Events will look to match him against domestic fighters that will bring in fans. Bute isn’t a big name in the UK, and as we saw tonight, he can still punch like a mule kicks.
In somewhat of a disappointing performance, undefeated #3 WBC light heavyweight champion Eleider Alvarez (18-0, 10 KOs) labored to a dull 12 round clinch-filled 12 round decision against #14 WBC Isidro Ranoni Prieto (24-1-3, 20 KOs). Alvarez was hurt several times in the fight by hard right hands from Prieto. It wasn’t until the Argentinian fighter gassed out in the last six rounds that Alvarez was able to take control over the fight. The final scores were 117-111, 117-111 and 117-111.
Alvarez did a lot of holding and backing up. Any time Prieto would get near him, Alvarez would grab him in a clinch.
I don’t know what Alvarez’s promoters are thinking about doing with him. They can try and work him to the No.1 spot in the World Boxing Council’s rankings so he can get a better payday, but he’s clearly not going to beat WBC champion Adonis Stevenson. I think it’s academic that Alvarez would look totally lost in the ring with Stevenson. He’s not in his league. The same thing against IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. Alvarez would stand no chance against him either. I don’t even think Alvarez could hang with Artur Beterbiev, Andrzej Fonfara, Jean Pascal, Yunieski Gonzalez or Sullivan Barrera.
There are levels in boxing, and Alvarez does not appear to be at even close to the same level as those guys. It is nice that the WBC has given Alvarez a No.3 ranking with their organization, but that’s more of a questionable ranking because he does not belong ranked above arguably much more talented fighters like Beterbiev, Pascal and Yunieski Gonzalez. I think all three of those fighters would make Alvarez look really bad.