Jean Pascal def. Lucien Bute by unanimous decision (116-112, 117-110, 117-111)
It was a long lead-up to Jean Pascal vs. Lucien Bute, and in that lead-up, this felt like an incredibly close, tough to call fight. It wasn't. After a feeling out process in round 1, Pascal took over and never let up. He was the faster, more confident fighter who consistently imposed his will on Bute. In almost every round, Pascal landed at least one solid combo that stunned Bute. Bute never was able to reciprocate, and as the fight progressed, he simply was not in it, with Pascal starting to clown him as the fight moved into the later rounds.
Or so it seemed. In round 12, Bute pulled together an incredible rally, badly hurting Pascal and looking like he just might pull off the miracle come from behind win. But it was not to be, as Pascal survived the assault to make it to the judges' scorecards.
For Pascal, this was one of his best performances until that final round. Expect the talk now to focus on Jean Pascal vs Adonis Stevenson in what would be another huge fight for the current boxing hotbed of Montreal.
For Bute, much of the fight looked like a man winding down his career, but that 12th round flipped that script. Hard to say what comes next for him.
More Pascal vs. Bute coverage at Bad Left Hook
Mike Perez vs. Carlos Takam goes to majority draw (96-94, 95-95, 95-95)
This was intended to be a showcase fight for Mike Perez after his impressive showing against Magomed Abdusalamov in November, but that showcase never got going. In the first half of the fight, Perez was mostly in control from the distance, though he never showed the same fire seen against Mago. In the second half, Takam got inside and took over, roughing up Perez. This was a tale of two fights that completely changed after round 5, and as such, the draw feels right. But, as the HBO team stated, a draw here is essentially a loss for Perez, who goes from talk of big things to come, to drawing against a fighter he was intended to steamroll.
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