Blogs & Opinion


Johnny Nelson watched Jean Pascal beat Lucian Bute - but not in style

Johnny Nelson Posted 20th January 2014 view comments

Without being too critical, this weekend's big fight out in Montreal was strange and pretty average to say the least.

We expected a lot more from Lucian Bute and even Jean Pascal, who ended up winning fairly comfortably

It was billed as Canada's biggest fight for years but how would you assess what we saw? Well, it was whistling in the dark.

Winning team: Jones Jnr was in the corner but Pascal was far from his best

Winning team: Jones Jnr was in the corner but Pascal was far from his best

It was supposed to be a great match-up between two good fighters and there were supposed to be doors opening for the winner.

But the fight was poor at best and did we see Pascal chasing Adonis Stevenson in his post-fight interview? Well, I didn't see it.

As for Bute, if you believe what you hear, he was supposed to be looking for a rematch with Carl Froch. Well, none of us will ever see that.

Damage

Buter is a broken arrow - we saw his vulnerability when he was battered by Froch two years ago but we were never sure how fragile he was or if he had just caught Carl at his very best.

Roy is still fighting and is nowhere near his best, which doesn't make his presence that frightening.

Johnny Nelson
Quotes of the week

We all know Froch broke him and now we can recognise the damage that he caused.

Bute probably always had these issues but when he was on top - and not taking on the very best - we never saw them.

He will never ever be the same fighter he was or maybe he was just getting away with it for all this time.

The best he can offer is to be part of the Canadian trio, big names who can fight each other and keep the country buzzing, as I'm sure Stevenson would gladly take on Bute and Pascal.

I thought Pascal would do more against Bute, do better and produce a better finish.

Maybe he was hustled by the success Bute had had but surely he should've realised early on that it was a thing of the past and gone for the kill.

Intimidation

I can't imagine it went down to a lack of confidence for Pascal because having Roy Jones Jnr in his corner, he had to get something from him - self-belief at least.

I do think when we see great fighters in the corner everyone assumes they are going to become a great trainers and the fighters are suddenly going to improve.

A lot of great fighters pass on their knowledge and give them information but perhaps the best thing the likes of Jones Jnr can bring is a bit of intimidation: if you are associated with a huge name like that and then have some success, the opponent will see that straight away.

The trouble with Roy is he is still fighting and is nowhere near his best, which doesn't make his presence that frightening.

All he did was pass on his wisdom and if you watch the post-fight interview, it hardly made Pascal hunt down Stevenson at the first opportunity.

Tony Bellew did and he is now up at cruiserweight, so I suppose British fans will be wondering, having watched this, whether Nathan Cleverly can make an impact again.

You could argue that he can get into the mix again and any boxer who truly believes he is going to be a world champion and boss your division it fuels your confidence.

But if you have been beaten by a guy who still has the world title he took off you, or beat you for, that ruins confidence, self-belief and the road back.

I know Bellew is up at cruiserwegiht and can re-invent himself, so maybe Cleverly will follow suit, but two have kissed goodbye to those world title dreams and on what we saw in Montreal, Bute has to join them.

At least Pascal still has a chance...

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