In Canada, boxing takes a backseat to MMA. With a lack of world class fighters, it is hard for Canadians to back their boxers other than national pride when facing an opponent from elsewhere in the world; all that is about to change. Canada’s top two fighters Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal have signed to fight each other on May 27th in Montreal in an event that should fill the arena.
Out of the two fighters, Bute has faced more world level competition. He holds victories over the likes of Sakio Bika, Librado Andrade, Edison Miranda and Glen Johnson. The only loss of his career was via fifth round TKO to Carl Froch; and opponent that Bute and Pascal has both faced and lost to. Bute has not appeared to be the same fighter he once was after the KO as seen in his last fight but as a counterpuncher, there is always the chance to catch your opponent which is what he should do against Pascal, the way Hopkins used Pascal’s aggression against him.
For Pascal, this will be the biggest fight of his career. Not only is he fighting in his hometown, he is also fighting against another hometown hero in a fight that will elevate one fighter higher than the other. Pascal’s greatest victory came against Chad Dawson who at the time was an elite undefeated fighter. His victory elevated him to a higher status in the world rankings following his loss to Carl Froch. After the Dawson fight, he had to back to back fights against Bernard Hopkins; a draw and a loss. In his comeback fight Pascal showed great heart and determination in his last fight against Aleksy Kuziemski getting a wide unanimous decision over his opponent while fighting with an injury. His keys to victory against Bute will be his aggression and possibly the hurt that Froch put on him.
What should we expect in this fight? This fight should be a war. Both fighters have so much to prove to themselves and to the fans especially the hometown fans. Both fighters are vulnerable and this could be make or break for both of them. One thing is for sure; this will be the biggest boxing event to hit not just Montreal, but all of Canada since Sugar Ray Leonard fought Roberto Duran in 1980 and could possibly bring boxing back as big player in the Canadian sports scene.