Bute vs Pascal Report Card: Grading Jean Pascal, Lucian Bute, and last night's HBO Boxing card

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

How did Jean Pascal and Lucien Bute perform last night? Fraser Coffeen takes a look in this post-fight Report Card, breaking down HBO World Championship Boxing Bute vs Pascal.

Saturday night's HBO World Championship Boxing Bute vs. Pascal event served as the unofficial kick-off of the 2014 boxing season. Coming on the heels of one of the best years in recent boxing history, 2014 has a high bar to reach if it wants to be on par with 2013. Sadly, last night's event didn't meet those standards. A hot crowd and a dynamic 12th round added some drama to an otherwise somewhat ho-hum evening, but the event still fell flat.

Here, we evaluate each of the main card fighters, grading their performances from last night

JEAN PASCAL - What looked like a very even fight on paper between Pascal and Bute was in fact quite lopsided, with Pascal firmly in control from the opening. The word the commentary team kept bringing up was confidence, and here, Pascal had the confidence advantage by miles. He was the faster, more aggressive fighter, and it paid off quite well. Unfortunately, in the later rounds, that confidence turned into over-confidence, and it nearly cost him the fight thanks to a 12th round rally from Bute. There were shades of Sergio Martinez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in that 12th round, but where that fight showed the heart of Martinez, this one more showed the hubris of Pascal. Final Grade: B+

LUCIAN BUTE - Had the 12th (and, to a lesser extent, 11th) round not happened, I would have given Bute an F here and called for his retirement. For the vast majority of this fight, he looked like a shockingly old and spent fighter - one who just had nothing left to give after everything Carl Froch took from him. Then, in round 12, he came alive, showing that he still had something to offer. I still think he's far, far removed from his best, and I still feel retirement is strongly worth considering, but that late rally was indeed something special, even if Pascal says he let Bute have it. Final Grade: C-

MIKE PEREZ - Perhaps this is the fault of the media more than Perez, but expectations were high for Mike Perez heading into this fight. Instead of delivering on those expectations, he turned in 5 dull, lackluster rounds, followed by 5 rounds of being completely outworked. Did the headbutt early on cause him trouble? Was there mental turmoil stemming from the Magomed Abdusalamov fight? Or is Perez just this caliber fighter? Hard to say right now, but this was not a good showing, and one that really hurt Perez's stock. Final Grade: D+

CARLOS TAKAM - For 5 rounds, Takam was mostly ineffective against Perez, which is largely what was predicted would be the outcome of this fight. Then, between rounds 5 & 6, Takam did what losing fighters are supposed to do. He found the holes in his opponent's game, exploited those holes, and flipped the fight entirely. Those kind of mid-fight adjustments are difficult to execute, and Takam did so perfectly here. The only knock on him is that he did not figure out those holes early enough to get him the win. Had this been a 12 rounder, Takam would have won, but in 10, he only got the draw. Still, he's the fighter I walk away most impressed by. Final Grade: A-

OVERALL - Two fights, 22 total rounds, little fireworks outside of one round. This did not deliver on what the red hot crowd seemed to promise. Final Grade: C-

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker