By: Luis Cortes III
Lucian Bute (25 – 0 20 KO’s) decided to use this moment, when six other top super middleweights in the world were getting national and for that matter global attention to display his best efforts as a professional fighter. He rose to the occasion not just as a fighter, but as a boxer. In essence, he guaranteed that his name would be mentioned along side of the survivor of the super six classic.
After their first encounter last year, many boxing insiders discussed at length who was the better fighter between Lucian Bute and Liberado Andrade (28- 3 21KO’s). Before the bell could ring to signify the end of the fourth round of the rematch the world had its answer.
It was clear when the first bell sounded that Bute was on a mission to hit and move in order to get out of the way before the return fire came anywhere near his face or sculpted physic. Andrade started to try and cut the ring in order to force the Romanian into exchanges, but to the Canadian resident’s credit, Bute began to stick and move from the southpaw stance, avoiding danger.
Bute started to land some flush shots on the move before the end of the second round. He truly found a home for his fists in the third round and even started to land shots as he back peddled away from the pressure that Andrade tried to apply.
As the fourth round progressed like a mirror image of the other rounds, Bute started to dance away from the ropes. Andrade continued to throw his winging shots in an attempt to assert himself and wind down the champion with his relentless pressure. Andrade was met in response with a crushing left hand that landed flush on the chin.
The usually steel jawed Mexican was caught wide open while he was moving forward. Before Andrade realized what was taking place, he was naturally winking towards his corner in an attempt to let his corner know he was okay. Gamely, Andrade rose to his feet and accepted his eight count fait.
Before the round could come to its conclusion, Bute continued to welcome the pressure from his wounded opponent. Once again as Bute was moving with his back almost pinned against the ropes as he was able to riffle off a sick left hand to the body.
Andrade caught the left to his right side and crumbled to the canvas. Although he may have been conscious, Andrade could not muster the strength to rise to his feet. To Bute’s credit a solid left hand to the liver area of Andrade made the case of who was the better super middleweight mote before the start of round five.
With the victory, Lucian Bute retains his portion of the super middleweight crown without having to beat up on five other men. Bute proved that his performance in his last outing against Andrade may have just been a case of lackluster ambition as he defended his crown, the IBF piece of the pie with no controversy on this night.
In the opening bout of the HBO telecast, the IBF portion of the pie was offered up in the lightweight division. Ali Funeka (30-2-3, 25KO’s) proved that his impressive first national showing against the rugged Nate Campbell was no fluke. Funeka peppered Joan Guzman (29-0-1 17KO’s) with a sick peppering jab all night long. Guzman started out as if he was going to get under the hard shots of Funeka and be able to respond with sick counters.
Unfortunately for Guzman, as the rounds continued to progress, so did the fact to did the fact that he was getting smacked around the ring by the bigger mans jab and combinations. Funeka continued to impress throughout the fight by being able to fight as a tall man that established his jab behind nice foot movement.
It was clear as the mid point of the fight was reaching that it was Funeka that was in control and willing to take the vacant championship. It seemed as they reached the end of the fight that it was the reach of Funeka that dominated this night in Montréal. However as the final bell rang out, the always tough and game Guzman continued to try and land fierce counter shots that would have ended the night had they landed. Funeka met the challenge head on and was able to counter and move accordingly.
Guzman was unable to make any of these dream shots land and Funeka properly raised his hands in victory when the final bell sounded. Surprisingly, and honestly in sick fashion the scorecards were read as follows. 116-112, 114-114, 114-114, in favor of a majority draw, sparring Guzman’s undefeated record and the IBF championship from the clutches of Funeka, who was clearly the winner and better fighter on this night.