Following a defiant seventh-round knockout of previously unbeaten Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12...
Pascal Wins Battle of Canada!
HBO featured two of Canadian bests as Lucian Bute faced Jean Pascal but before the main event, Mike Perez faced Carlos Takam in a heavyweight bout. Perez was fighting his first fight since his last bout with Magomed Abdusalamov, who slipped into a coma after taking a beating from Perez. Many fighters when they have faced with tragedy aren’t always the same after being involved a bout in which their opponent is either seriously injured or dies from their injuries.
The first round saw both fighters feel each other and while Perez landed a couple of solid straight lefts from his southpaw stance; there was little to distinguish between the two. Perez landed a couple of right hooks and two big left hands as he attempted to walk Takam down. Perez suffered a cut over his right eye from an accident head butt in the third round and suddenly the bout looked in jeopardy as the blood flow liberally.
Starting in the sixth round, Perez moved inside as Takam quit boxing and decided to allow Perez fight toe to toe. Takam took advantage of his weight advantage and started to pound Perez over the final thirty seconds. This continued into the first two minutes of the seventh round even though Perez did manage to land some solid combinations as the bell rang.
Takam pounded Perez with body shots and while he lost the early rounds, he dominated round six through nine with his inside game. Takam’s corner told their fighter, “Take him down” and he attacked Perez and landed a big right hand that sent Perez reeling. This was a tale of two fights with Perez using his boxing skills to win the early rounds but Takam won the second half of the fight. The judges had this fight a draw but Takam may have deserve the victory but Perez was favored to win and a draw was still upset. For the record, Harold Lederman had it 96-94 in Takam’s favor but Kellerman had it even so this was not a bad decision by the judges.
For Perez, he kept his undefeated status intact with no loss but this was a good as defeat as far his career is concern. Questions now remains, is Perez a real contender?
As for the main event, Pascal landed the more telling blow in an uneventful first round with four or five solid body shots and one left hook that landed in the last thirty seconds. The second round saw more excitement in the last half of the round as both men got into a blistering exchange. Pascal got the better as a right hand that stunned Bute momentarily and a left hook sent Bute reeling.
Pascal landed some big right hands over the first two minutes of the third round, but Bute managed to landed a combination that pushed Pascal back over the last minute that included a Bute ‘s left uppercut. Pascal landed a two solid rights as part of two blistering combinations. Pascal awkward style seemed to bother Bute, who never seemed to have established a rhythm.
At the halfway mark, Bute looked like a lost fighter as he seemed content to allow Pascal to start the action and Pascal herky-jerky movement made it difficult to for Bute counter. Pascal landed the more meaningful punches. Pascal dominated the action over the first six rounds as he threw and connected on nearly double the punches.
Pascal awkward movement in the seventh round allowed him to maneuver into positions to land punches whereas Bute threw one punch at a time and hitting very little.
Going into the ninth round, Bute’s left eye started to swell from Pascal right that landed consistently over the first eight rounds. Bute trapped Pascal in the corner just as he did the previous round and just like the previous round, Pascal escaped easily by landing solid rights as Bute retreated. The tenth round may have been the closet in a while as Bute landed straight left but near the end of the round, Pascal nailed Bute with right hand. An accidental head butt opened up a cut over Bute but Bute rally in the tenth round may have won him the round. The biggest drama in the eleventh round was when Bute trapped Pascal in the corner and nailed him with three straight left but Pascal landed three solid rights.
Bute began the final round trapping Pascal in the corner and hurt Pascal with barrage of left . Pascal rallied with a combination of his own and reversed the position as Bute retreated to the rope. Bute landed straight lefts that once again hurt Pascal and this time, no rally by Pascal. Bute punished Pascal and Pascal barely was hanging on as he merely survived the onslaught. Bute won the final round easily and nearly pulled off a miracle after losing most of the previous rounds.
Pascal won the unanimous decision but Bute salvaged his reputation in the final round as he nearly stopped Pascal and showing that he still had the heart of a champion. Pascal may have put himself in a position for another a title shot in the light heavyweight division but the Bute’s performance in the last round showed that he still has a future in this division.