Boxing recommendation:

Lucian Bute v Jean Pascal – 19th January, approx 01:00 hours (GMT)

WBC Diamond Light-Heavyweight title fight

I’ve been waiting a long time for this fight, and can only see one outcome. Of course, I can’t account for judge’s scorecards in this Canadian super-fight, and could be wrong with my bet, but it’s a clear pick in my eyes and here’s why:

– At Super middleweight, both fighters fought and lost to Carl Froch, with Pascal giving the Nottingham based Brit a hard fight in a 12 round points loss.

-Bute, on the other hand, was brutally knocked out in five rounds by Mr Froch.

-In his first and only fight since being defeated by Carl Froch, Bute defeated Denis Grachev on points to win the (lightly regarded) NABF light-heavyweight title.

-Bute was given a hard time by Grachev, with many observers commenting that the beating Froch gave him showed in this fight.

– I cannot yet conclude that Bute, in boxing terms, is ‘shot,’ but my guess is that we’ll soon see that he is.

-Pascal moved up to light-heavyweight in 2009, winning the WBC world title in his first fight at the weight.

-Pascal made 4 successful defences of his light-heavyweight title, including handing Chad Dawson his first ever defeat.

-Pascal twice knocked the former undisputed middleweight champion down, but was given a controversial draw in his first fight with Bernard Hopkins. B-Hop, or ‘The Alien,’ as he now (bizarrely) wants to be known as, won the rematch with a close points verdict.

-Pascal, unlike Bute has traded blows with some big punchers and has never been stopped.

-Pascal also has a lot more experience at light-heavyweight than Bute does.

All in all, I think that while Bute is an excellent boxer technically, he’s been well protected in terms of who he’s fought – and the early signs (based on his last bout) – suggest that he’ll ever get back to his best after the manner of his defeat to Froch.

Pascal, who has fought and defeated a much more impressive string of fighters than Bute has, should be too tough for Bute and, if he has any sense and does not show too much respect for his rival, should be able to stop his opponent. However, the straight win is good enough for me.

Recommendation: Pascal (5/6)


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