Pascal dominates Bute in Montreal

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.

Marcos Maidana Defeats Adrien Broner in slugfest

In what will go down as one of boxing’s best brawls in 2013, Marcos Maidana defeated Adrien Broner by unanimous decision to claim the WBA Welterweight Title. Maidana dropped Broner in the second and eighth rounds on his way to a wide decision victory by scores of 115-110, 117-109 and 116-109.

Maidana came out and pressured Broner from the start of the fight, throwing 67 power punches in the first round compared to just seven power punches thrown for Broner. In the second, Maidana caught “The Problem” with a looping left hook that sent Broner to the canvas for the first time in 121 rounds boxed. After two rounds, Maidana had thrown 171 punches compared to Broner’s 29.

Broner rebounded and won some rounds during the middle of the fight, settling in and pacing the fight the way he wanted to. Then, in the eighth round, Broner was dropped again by another left hook from Maidana. The Argentinian set up his shots to the head of Broner by working the former champion’s body with hooks and jabs.

It was a rough battle for all 12 rounds, with a lot of dirty boxing happening on the inside. Maidana lost a point in the eighth for a headbutt when he got frustrated because Broner was holding his arms. Broner was warmed multiple times for pushing but a point was never taken away.

Maidana was never seriously hurt, he staggered Broner several times and threw twice as many punches as “The Problem.” When the dust settled, Maidana landed 269/964 and Broner landed 149/400 total punches.

Maidana improves his boxing record to 35-3 and Broner suffers his first professional defeat in 28 career fights.

Danger Zone: Adrien Broner vs. Marcos Maidana highlight stacked Showtime card

Boxing’s 2013 campaign comes to an end on Saturday night in San Antonio, Texas, as Showtime presents a televised quadruple header. Adrien “The Problem” Broner (27-0 22 KO’s) battles Marcos “El Chino” Maidana (34-3 31 KO’s) in the 12-round main event for the WBA Welterweight Title.

The co-main event features two welterweight brawlers in Keith Thurman (21-0 19 KO’s) and Jesus Soto Karass (28-8-3 (18 KO’s) who will meet in the squared circle in a battle for the interim welterweight title. Rising junior featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (25-0-1 15 KO’s) battles Puerto Rican Cezar Seda (25-1 17 KO’s), and the opening bout on Showtime features a light heavyweight title fight between Beibut Shumenov (13-1 8 KO’s) and Tamas Kovacs (23-0 14 KO’s).

This card was originally planned to be a pay-per-view event, but Golden Boy Promotions scrapped the idea and decided to air it on Showtime instead. This is one of the biggest cards in the history of Showtime and it is a fitting way for the network to close out one of the best boxing years in network history.

Adrien Broner vs. Marcos Maidana

This clash against Maidana figures to be the toughest test of the brash-talking Broner’s young career. Even though Broner is just 24, he has captured titles in three weight divisions. In June, Broner jumped two weight classes and beat Paulie Malignaggi by split decision to win the WBA Welterweight Title.

But despite his success, Broner has not faced a opponent with punching ability of Maidana, who will enter the ring with 31 knockouts in 37 career fights under his belt. The Argentinean brawler has KO’d his last three opponents and his last loss was a controversial decision to Devon Alexander back in February of 2012. But even though Maidana has faced the likes of Amir Khan, Victor Ortiz, Josesito Lopez and Devon Alexander, he has not faced the combination of speed, intelligence and power that “The Problem” brings.

In his last outing against Malignaggi, Broner landed 47-percent of his total punches, including 51-percent of his power shots. His opponent, landed just 25-percent of his total punches. In his previous fight against Gavin Rees, Broner landed 48-percent of his power shots compared to 34-percent for his opponent.

Broner should have his chin tested for the first time in his career but Maidana simply does not have the technical skill to have his hand raised at the end. He will get some shots in but look for Broner to wear down his opponent on his way to a late stoppage or decision victory.

Prediction: Broner TKO 10

Keith Thurman vs. Jesus Soto Karass

This fight has the makings to be the most action-packed fight on the entire card. Thurman is a rising welterweight prospect who won the WBA Interim Welterweight Title in July over a previously unbeaten Diego Gabriel Chaves. But he has been brought along rather slowly as he’s faced mostly faded veterans of the sport like Jan Javeck, Carlos Quintana and Orlando Lora. But in Sota Karass, he will get the toughest test of his career against another tough veteran.

Soto Karass is one of the most exciting fighters to watch in all of boxing. He has won two fights in a row, including a 12th round TKO victory over Andre Berto in his last fight. Soto Karass’ last loss came at the hands of Maidana, who is set to appear in this cards main event. In his last fight against Berto, Soto Karass more than doubled his opponent’s punch rate with 1,324 total punches including 515 jabs. While he does not land all that much (29-percent against Berto) he does throw combinations in volumes and rarely steps backwards.

This fight has all the makings of an all-out brawl. Soto Karass is rarely in a boring fight and Thurman has 19 KO’s in 21 fights. Soto Karass is going to go right after Thurman and it should make for some fireworks. While Soto Karass is the veteran, he is not as polished as Thurman so look for this fight to go the distance as neither man is known to quit so easily.

Prediction: Thurman close unanimous decision

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Cezar Seda

Santa Cruz is one of the rising prospects in boxing today. At 25, Santa Cruz has already captured a title at bantamweight in June of 2012 and defended it three times in six months before moving up to junior featherweight in 2013. This culminated with a third round TKO victory over Victor Terrazas to capture the WBC Junior Featherweight Title

A volume puncher, Santa Cruaz averages 97.4 punches per round according to Compubox. But what is more impressive is that he averages 62 power punches a round and  connects on 47.4-percent of them. Santa Cruz has KO’d his last two opponents and has 15 wins by knockout in 26 fights.

Seda, currently riding a five-fight winning streak with two of those victories coming by knockout, is ranked number five by the WBC, but remains unranked by the WBA and the WBO. Even though he has an impressive record (25-1), he should not pose much of a threat to Santa Cruz. Look for the title holder to hurt the challenger early and stop him in the middle rounds.

Prediction: Santa Cruz TKO 5

Beibut Shumenov vs. Tamas Kovacs

In the deep, talent rich pool of light heavyweights, Beibut Shumenov often gets forgotten. Shumenov represented Kazakhstan in the 2004 Summer Olympics and won his world title in his tenth professional fight. However, he has not faced a top-ten light heavyweight and has not fought in 18 months.

Kovacs has a nice record (23-0) but has not faced anybody of note. This is his first fight in the United States and his first scheduled 12-round fight since 2011. Kovacs has only been 12 rounds one time in his career and look for him to fade as the fight gets to the championship rounds.

Prediction: Shumenov unanimous decision

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