For years, Jean Pascal has lived in the shadow of Lucian Bute. The Romanian born Bute has made his home in Canada during his professional boxing career where fans saw him win the IBF super middleweight title in Montreal and sell out shows at the Bell Center for years.
Pascal, a former light heavyweight champion, has also sold out shows at the Bell Center, most notably for his victory over Chad Dawson back in 2010 and his battle with Bernard Hopkins in 2011. However, Bute was always the bigger draw and the more popular of the two foreign-born Canadians.
Injury and defeat kept the two fighters from facing each other the past few years. However, Saturday night in Montreal, the two finally met in the squared circle with Pascal emerging from the shadow of Bute with a dominating unanimous decision victory.
Pascal used his superb counter punching and timing to dominate Bute, winning via scores of 116-112, 117-110 and 117-111. Cageside news scored the contest 117-111.
“It means a lot,” said Pascal to Max Kellerman on HBO after the bout. “I have been working really hard for this. It has been five to seven years that I have been chasing Bute. To prove that I am the best in town.”
After a feeling out first round, Pascal peppered Bute with body shots and counter punches all night long. The Haitian-born Pascal landed 187/438 of his total punches, including a staggering 53-percent of his power punches. Where Pascal did some of his best work was to the body of Bute, landing 85 body shots on the Romanian over the 12-round fight.
Pascal, known for his tendency to fade as the fight reaches the later rounds, sought out the help of former champion Roy Jones Jr. during his training camp. Jones was in Pascal’s corner Saturday night and was able to show him some new tricks, including a left-uppercut, straight right hand combination Pascal used in the middle rounds.
“First of all, I want to thank Roy,” said Pascal. “He came to my corner last-minute, he’s a humble man and a down to earth guy.”
Bute was not very active during the fight as he could not get Pascal’s timing down and got caught by looping right hands from his opponent throughout the fight. Bute did not fire many combinations until the 12th and final round, when Bute had Pascal against the ropes and had him hurt several times. Pascal survived the attack and was awarded the wide unanimous decision.
“I am disappointed on my performance tonight,” said Bute. “I trained well, I prepared well. But for whatever reason things didn’t work out tonight.”
Pascal reestablished himself as a threat in the 175-pound division, meaning bigger fights could await, including a potential showdown with lineal light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, possibly Pascal’s next all-Canadian showdown to determine Montreal’s best.