Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal will be making their return to HBO on May 25th in the most significant boxing match in a long time for Canada.
When we last saw Bute on HBO, he faced off against Librado Andrade in their highly anticipated rematch of their first bout in which Bute was almost stopped. Andrade who was known for having a solid chin, was stopped in the fourth round from an amazing body shot. This next appearance will be more meaningful for Bute because it is a chance to put his skills to the test against his fellow countryman (although the two were not born in Canada but reside there) to become the best fighter in Canada and to show that he still has what it takes to be at the top. Bute is holding his training camp in Florida and even sparred with Canadian MMA fighter Georges St. Pierre prior to Nick Diaz bout. While speaking with the media Bute had said, “On May 25, I am ready to go to war. It will be a memorable, historic fight.”
For Pascal, his last appearance on HBO did not end the way he would of liked it to. He lost a spirited match to Bernard Hopkins in a rematch from their first fight which ended in a controversial draw. Even in defeat Pascal showed that he had the grit and what it takes to be at the world level of fighters. Hopkins’ awkward style can make even the top fighters seem amateurish. This time around Pascal will be looking for more than just a victory but for his place as the supreme Canadian fighter and to possibly build up for a rematch with Chad Dawson which was originally slated to happen.
Pascal began working with strength and conditioning coach Angel Heredia who is most noted for his successful work with Mexican boxer, Juan Manuel Marquez. In addition to Angel, Pascal has also brought in future hall of famer Roy Jones Jr. to the camp to help out with strategy and with his advanced knowledge on southpaw fighters.
While being interviewed by reporters Pascal had told them, “I’m just happy that the fight’s happening. I want to congratulate Lucian for having responded to the demands of the fans.”
With the worldwide exposure these two fighters will be getting; there is a possibility this may not be their only encounter with each other in the boxing ring.
Tickets for this bout went on sale this past Thursday in what is expected to be a sold out and historical event in which can bring boxing back into mainstream here in Canada. It will serve as a split feature to Carl Froch vs. Mikkel Kessler.