Jean Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KO’s) beat former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (31-2, 24 KO’s) by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. The final judges scores were 116-112, 118-110, 117-111.
The fight was horrible to watch because Bute wouldn’t throw punches, and spent 3 minutes of every round just moving his head like a fighter who can no longer pull the trigger on his punches. Bute didn’t look like a physically shot fighter. He did throw some nice punches in the 12th round when he finally decided to start fighting. But Bute’s problem seemed to be more on the mental side. He looked like he was afraid to get countered by Pascal if he let his hands go, and he just wasn’t going to leave himself in a vulnerable position.
Pascal was sloppy but effective. He was able to nail Bute with pot shots and basically beat him to the punch. When the two fighters came in close at times, Pascal would use the opportunity to nail Bute with repeated blows to the head. Bute didn’t do much at those times other than just covering up and trying to get away from Pascal. There was no retaliation or any kind of body shots from Bute when he was getting nailed.
In the last 4 rounds, Pascal had little energy left and he spent much of the time backed up by the ropes and covering up. Bute still seemed afraid to let his hands go even when he had Pascal right where he could take advantage of him. Bute was literally frozen and unwilling to let his hands go.
In the post-fight interview, Pascal didn’t give any hint for which direction he wants to go next with his career. He was asked by Max Kellerman from HBO if he’d like to take on Adonis Stevenson, but all he could do was say how great of a fighter Stevenson was. The thing is if Pascal doesn’t fight Stevenson or Kovalev, he’ll look like he’s ducking them. He can’t fight Bute again because no one wants to see that fight for a second time. If Pascal wants to cherry pick, he can go after WBA champion Jurgen Braehmer instead of fighting Kovalev or Stevenson, but he’ll look even more irrelevant to the 175 lb. division than he’s been in the last two years.
Carlos Takam (29-1-1, 23 KO’s) looked sensational in dominating unbeaten Cuban Mike Perez (20-0-1, 12 KO’s) and having to settle for a 10 round majority draw. The final scores were 96-94, 95-95, 95-95. Perez fought well enough to lose by 2 rounds. It’s hard to see how Perez deserved a draw in this fight because he appeared to lose every round from the 4th to the 10th.
You couldn’t give Perez any of the last 7 rounds because he was getting outworked and out-landed by the bigger and surprisingly stronger Takam. Perez didn’t have the size to stand in there with the bigger Takam, and he ended up taking a lot of punishment on the inside. Takam’s body shots seemed to drain Perez like a battery, as he immediately started weakening from the shots from the 4th round.
In Perez’s last fight against Magomed Abdusalamov, he didn’t have to worry about getting hit with body shots because Magomed was head-hunting the entire fight. But Takam used a different tactic by going to Perez’s soft-looking body and finding a lot of success in landing hard shots that really sapped the energy out of the Cuban.
Perez’s stock really plummets with this draw. He pretty badly exposed by Takam, and it’s hard to take Perez seriously as a top 10 contender after this performance. I rate Takam as a better heavyweight than Perez based on his performance tonight. Perez needs to get a rematch because he has a lot to prove.
Other boxing action on tonight’s card:
Eleider Alvarez UD 10 Andrew Gardiner
Mikael Zewski TKO 7 Krzysztof Szot
Oscar Rivas TKO 3 Shawn Cox
Artur Beterbiev TKO 4 Gabriel Lecrosnier
Yves Ulysse Jr. TKO 4 Vango Tsirimokos