By Dave Spencer / Fightnews Canada
While technically the visitor, Librado Andrade will certainly not be a stranger to fans at a sold-out Quebec Colisee when he enters the ring in the anticipated rematch between the hard-hitting Mexican warrior and IBF super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute. Over 16,000 fans our expected to squeeze into the former home of the National Hockey League’s Quebec Nordiques that sold out in less than hour to welcome Andrade who makes his fourth trip to Quebec to meet adopted hero Lucian Bute who remains undefeated but not exactly unscathed thanks to the pair’s first meeting.
While the controversy has died down from their original match-up that saw Bute dragging himself up from the canvas and teetering on the ropes as the final bell sounded, the fires are burning anew for the rematch. While the champion promises a “Brand new Bute,” the challenger Andrade promises more of the same. “I knew what I had to do in the first fight and I did it. I take this as a brand new opportunity and I plan on taking advantage of it,” said Andrade who is hoping the third time will be a charm when it comes to championship opportunities. “I fight for my dream,” said Andrade who gotten to the top of the heap as a mandatory challenger in both of his previous title shots, the only loses on his stellar 28-2 (21KO) record.
Andrade knows he can’t come any closer than the original clash with Bute in 2008 and not come away with the victory and a title belt. That first contest saw Andrade who makes Montreal his training home under the guidance of Howard Grant push the champion to the bitter end, finally knocking him down with just six seconds left in the fight. “Little by little I got to him,” said Andrade from Quebec earlier this week, “I just ran out of time.”
Obviously the prevailing belief is that Andrade will have to start sooner come Saturday night, but don’t expect the challenger to come out with guns blazing from the opening bell, but more of sustained attack throughout. “We want to make him work a bit harder, a bit faster, a bit earlier,” said Andrade. “If I stick to my guns, we’ll go out and achieve what we’re trying to accomplish.”
For his part, Bute dismisses the first fight as a ‘little mistake.’ “I was trying to close the show and got tired,” said the champion. But despite dominating for eleven-and-a-half rounds before almost letting things slip away, Bute promises a brand new fighter for the rematch. So what can a fighter who made one little mistake do to transform himself after a dominating performance that almost went south in the closing moments? “I’ll be that much better,” said Bute, vowing that he has learnt from his mistakes.