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20 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

DeGale Decisions Bute In Quebec

By Marc Livitz: James "Chunky" DeGale put together a clever game plan to beat Lucien Bute to the punch in an IBF super middleweight championship contest at the Centre Videotron Arena in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada on Saturday. Bute was on a mission to get back the title he lost in a 2012 mauling to Carl Froch while DeGale was intent on keeping the belt he won six months ago with a victory over Andre Dirrell in Boston. The 2008 Olympic gold medalist from London showed neither fear nor intimidation in Bute’s adopted hometown when the bell sounded just after midnight local time.


DeGale (22-1, 14 KO’s) came out firing as if a trail of gunpowder was on his trail. He landed a straight right about thirty seconds into the first. Bute (32-3, 25 KO’s) easily found his bearings and used his jab to slow down his English opponent just a bit. They moved into the middle of the ring in the closing minute. They exchanged shots close in. There would be no feeling out period this evening. A body shot from Lucien caught James’s attention in the opening moments of the second round. DeGale looked to set up head shots by way of body work as well. He pushed his way forward with combinations high and low and his foe from Quebec by way of Romania did much of the same in return.


A great fight was beginning to brew as the third commenced. Shots from angles and uppercuts were exchanged. Bute went right at "Chunky" DeGale with fine bodywork, but was caught himself with short punches which led to stiffer shots to the head. James used parts of the fourth to regain his steam and use the ring to his advantage. He was consistently moving to his right while Bute was looking to cut off his path. A hard left uppercut from Bute connected with about a minute to go. Referee Marlon Wright verbally warned DeGale about using his right elbow to create space as the fifth was underway. James landed successive uppercuts in ring’s center to highlight the period. Lucien was stalking him as before but he was not given the same opportunities to catch his Hammersmith foe, who was now showing a cut over his left eye due to an accidental headbutt.


Bute was firing and missing until he landed a superb right jab in the sixth. A sweeping right hook from DeGale broke Lucien’s high guard. He threw three consecutive rights - jab, hook and uppercut to end the three minutes. Through six, DeGale seemed to be slightly in front. He connected with two right hooks in the seventh. Each man tried to befuddle the other with techniques such a frequently switching from southpaw to orthodox. James seemed intent on closing the show in round eight, as evidenced by hard shots thrown in strange patterns. He doubled up on jabs and hooks and was landing his right from both his front as well as back foot. The entertaining contest was simply flying past due to its exciting nature.


Bute showed flashes of his old self during the first half of the ninth. He forced James into a corner and fired away, much to the crowd’s delight. Wright reprimanded DeGale once more for his elbow tactics and shortly thereafter, Lucien found another corner into which he could force his English adversary. Bute glared into his eyes as the round closed.


The last fourth of the contest began to roll and the 35 year old, former world champion Bute seemed to feel the urgency as the toe to toe action continued. Despite the cut over his eye continuing to bleed freely, DeGale didn’t seem to care as he landed one of his finest shots of the contest, a deep right uppercut to Bute’s chin. With two rounds to go, the fans in Montreal seemed happy to spend a late Saturday night at the fights as local time eclipsed 1am.


The modern version of the championship rounds began with more than one thousand punches having been thrown between the two men in the previous thirty minutes. A slight break in the action due to DeGale losing his mouthpiece only lasted ten seconds. Bute looked to attack the head and landed a few punches close in. A quick left from DeGale caught Bute flush in the closing moments, but just seconds later, he found himself on the ropes. Lucien landed a body shot to set up some shots up high, some of which were eluded by the man bearing the Arsenal FC logo on his trunks.


There would be no touching of gloves to begin the twelfth and final round in Quebec City. They traded jabs for a moment but neither man seemed to be looking to set up an ending shot. Rather, they were looking to go straight to it. DeGale pummeled Bute with thunderous body shots and right hooks. Loud chants of, "Bute, Bute" echoed throughout the arena as the last minute of the bout trickled away.


The crowd rose to their feet as the last bell sounded. The judges would hold the ultimate decision in a bout that was more suited for fifteen rounds than twelve. Both men showed guts and determination. DeGale for fighting on hostile ground with nothing more than an afterthought and Bute who fought hard to regain the super middleweight crown he lost three years ago.


The three ringside judges turned in the following scores: 116-112 (Nelson Vasquez), while Benoit Roussell and Phil Edwards both saw it 117-111 to give James "Chunky" DeGale the unanimous decision victory.


"He’s a world class fighter", the triumphant DeGale said of Bute after the bout. "I’m peaking and I’ll only get better from here".


The gracious Lucien Bute commented, "The judges gave him a decision and I respect that. I will go back to the gym and continue to fight. I still feel great. I feel healthy. I think I’ll have one more chance to get back to the top. I think I waited too much."



WBC Silver light heavyweight title Eleider Alvarez w pts 12 Isaac Chilemba
IBF Super Middleweight title James DeGale w pts 12 Lucian Bute
Junior welterweight Adrian Granados w tko 8 Amir Imam
Heavyweight Oscar Rivas w ko 2 Joey Abell
Heavyweight Bogdan Dinu w rtd 6 Manuel Alberto Pucheta
junior middleweight Custio Clayton w tko 2 Ivan Pereyra
junior welterweight Yves Ulysse Jr w tko 5 Randy Lozano
Super Welterweight Sebastien Bouchard w tko 2 Giuseppe Lauri
Super Bantamweight Vislan Dalkhaev w pts 6 Antonio Olguin
Welterweight David Maltais w pts 4 Lucnor Diserne


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November 28, 2015

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