Saturday night in Montreal, Jean Pascal took home a wide Unanimous Decision victory over rival Lucian Bute. Billed as the biggest fight in Canadian boxing history, and with the crowd to back that up, Pascal really controlled the fight from start to finish, save for a few tense moments towards the final bell.
Official scorecards read 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112, and the fight certainly wasn’t as close as the last scorecard or two make it seem.
Pascal was dictating the action, and Bute seemed hesitant to engage. Whether it was Pascal’s power or speed he was fearful of, or both, remains to be seen, but he clearly didn’t want to engage or leave himself open for anything.
It seemed like a final swan song into retirement for Bute until he nearly got Pascal out of there in the 12th. Similar to his own fight in Montreal against Librado Andrade, although not at all as severe or pronounced, he had his man hurt and ready to go in the final stanza. But he couldn’t seal the deal, and Pascal, known for late fight stamina issues, was able to survive and prevail.
In earlier action, heavyweights Mike Perez and Carlos Takam battled to a draw. Two judges scored the fight 95-95, with the third awarding it to Perez by 96-94, but overruled.
So what’s next for Bute and Pascal? With Adonis Stevenson watching from ringside, he seems like the obvious choice for the winner, but he has his own business to take care of in the form of Sergey Kovalev. Of course, there’s also Bernard Hopkins, too. Plenty of exciting options at 175 lbs right now.