Johnson lands a jab on Bute (pic Tom Casino)
By Jason Pribila: On Saturday night boxing returned to the electric Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, Canada as fans filled the arena to welcome adopted son Lucien Bute back to the ring as the undefeated Romanian faced his stiffest test on paper as he took on Super Six semi-finalist Glen Johnson.
“The Road Warrior” seemed right at home in a hostile environment and seemed poised to again take a younger, more talented fighter into deep waters. He was facing a friend and former sparring partner Lucian Bute five months after dropping a hard fought majority decision to Carl Froch.
Bute had the goal of looking impressive against Johnson, a task that those before have found nearly impossible to do. A victory would move him into position for a big money fight against the eventual winner of the Super Six Finale between Froch and Andre Ward.
Mission accomplished. After showing too much respect during the opening third of the fight, Bute began to let his hands go. He had reduced Johnson into throwing jabs from the outside; punches that lost steam and were easily countered with right hooks.
Bute picked up the pace in round seven. Straight lefts and lead rights were beginning to land with authority. Johnson was unable to pull the trigger and take advantage of openings that Bute presented by fighting aggressively. A four punch combination forced Johnson to the ropes, and the fight was never competitive again as the round came to a close.
As the fighters approached the championship rounds, Bute was in cruise control and Johnson was unable to catch him or his breath. The crowd was into the fight as they sensed that they were about to see Johnson stopped for the first time since Bernard Hopkins forced a stoppage due to cuts.
Johnson remained on his feet until the final bell despite taking numerous power shots. 123 of Bute’s 306 landed punches were power shots. Johnson was only able to land 47 power shots and 128 overall.
The judges unanimously agreed that Bute remained undefeated by scores of: 119-109, 120-108, and 120-108.
With the victory, Bute improved to (30-0, 24 KO) and a perfect 10-0 in title fights. Johnson fell to (51-16-2, 35 KO) and at the age of 42 he may have fought his last fight for a world title.
“I will be there to see this fight (Ward vs Froch)”, Bute said after the fight. “I predict Ward will win by decision.”
When asked if he would like to face the winner, Bute responded. “Of course, that is my dream.”
With Bute as an available dance partner, the Super Middleweight division will remain hot in 2012.
The televised portion of the evening featured a junior welterweight battle between undefeated Quebec City native Pier Olivier Cote (18-0, 12 KO) put his undefeated record on the line against veteran Jorge Luis Teron (25-3-1, 17 KO).
What a coming out party!
Cote wasted little time showing off his lethal lead right hand as he immediately landed on Teron’s chin. One minute into the fight a lead right hand wobbled Teron and Cote jumped on his foe, forcing him to the ropes. Cote landed a double left hook to the head and body and looked to knock his foe off his feet. Teron countered with a right hand, and Cote stumbled back momentarily. Teron survived the round.
Cote came off his stool banged his fists together twice and then landed a left jab and straight right that floored Teron five seconds into the round. Teron momentarily rose to his feet, but he was unable to stay there for long. Cote ripped a right hand to the body and followed with a highlight reel left hook and ended the fight. Blood flowed from Teron’s nose faster than the referee reached the count of 10.
The official time of the knockout was 33 seconds into the second round.
This bout was not originally scheduled to be televised, but Cote made the most of his opportunity by landing 31 of 49 power punches. Teron had only been previously stopped once in his career. That defeat came at the hands of current lightweight titlist Brandon Rios. When “Bam Bam” eventually moves up to junior welterweight he will have an exciting ticket seller in Cote waiting for him.
Jason Pribila is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He could be reached for questions or comments at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @PribsBoxing
November 5, 2011