By Dave Spencer at ringside
Lucian Bute (26-0, 21 KOs) served notice that he considers himself the best there is at 168 pounds Saturday as he put on another sensational performance in front of 13,862 rabid fans at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Bute destroyed Columbian born Edison Miranda (33-5, 29 KOs), knocking out the heavy fisted contender at 1:22 of round three with an uppercut that served as the earliest exit to date for Miranda. “I am the best there is at 168 pounds and I welcome all challengers,” said Bute moments after the fight, referring principally to Bernard Hopkins or anybody who wanted to challenge him for his IBF world title. The win was the 5th defense for the Romanian-born Bute.
Photos: Herby Whyne
Click the photo to go to the next photo
Miranda was stood up straight by a body shot in the third and the hard hitting southpaw kept the pressure on, delivering another body that the challenger standing with his hands on his hips inviting more. Bute took the invitation and RSVP’d with the telling left uppercut to end things.
“I can’t say I knew it for sure, but I saw it in his eyes. He made it look like I didn’t hurt him so I said; ‘now we’ll see.’
Both the uppercut and Miranda’s showboating when were two things the Bute camp worked on while in training in Florida. “We said this guy is going to provide you with the opportunity to get knocked out by a good sharp uppercut,” said trainer Stephane Larouche after the fight. “You can ask both his sparring partners, Randy Griffin and Alejandro Berrio, he wobbled them both with that punch. That was the punch and it was only going to be a matter of time until he got his rhythm. We also knew he was going to drop his hand and clown a little bit, especially when he’s hurt, he always does that. I think we executed the plan quite good.”
Bute was able to put the pressure on throughout the fight, not allowing Miranda to properly execute his power. “I felt his power on my gloves and he was very heavy handed, fortunately he wasn’t able to touch my chin,” said Bute.
Larouche knew that if he had his fighter moving forward, Miranda’s power would be taken away. “When’s he’s backing up, he has no power at all, you back him up, he’s not dangerous. Just keep him off balance.”
The options for Bute seem limitless right now as the Interbox organization seems to be holding all the cards right now and our inviting all candidates. Up next is a proposed July 25th date in Bute’s native Romania.
In a fight mainly devoid of action, middleweight Renan St-Juste (21-1-1 14KO) scored the huge left hand counter he was looking for all night at 1:27 of the ninth round, scoring a huge knockout over Dioniso Miranda (20-6-2 18KO) of Columbia. It was a largely tactical affair but Miranda started picking up the pace in 7th round. When he came over top with a right hand, St-Juste let fly with a left knocking Miranda into the corner and jumped on his injured opponent who went down quickly. Miranda made it to his feet but was swaying from side to side and referee Michael Griffin stopped the fight. St-Juste retains both his NABA and WBC Continental Americas title.
Pier-Olivier Cote had an easy time of things, knocking down an over-matched Hugo Pacheco 3 times in the third round and stopping the over-matched Mexican at the 1:02 mark. It is the 13th time in 23 fights that Pacheco has been stopped. Cote moves to 11-0 and scores his 7th knockout.
Super-bantamweight Sebastien Gauthier rebounded nicely from a knockout loss in his last fight, scoring a 80-71, 79-72, 79-72 decision over Justin Hayward. Gauthier who was in control throughout started a sustained body attack in the 6th round that finally paid dividends in the 7th when the Maritime fighter slumped down to his knees. Gauthier moves to 18-2 with the victory while Hayward drops to 6-9 with his 3rd straight loss.
Francy N’Tetu (3-0) won an easy 40-35 (x3) unanimous decision over Juan Sanchez (3-6-1),dropping the Halifax fighter with a monster right hand in the first round and dominating the rest of the way. The only reprise that Sanchez got for the four rounder was when N’Tetu switched to southpaw for the first half of the third round. When he switched back to orthodox, it was more crunching rights from the undefeated super-middleweight.
Nathalie Forget (2-1) suffered her first defeat as a professional, dropping a 59-55, 58-56 60-54 decision to Dominga Olivo (8-5-1) at the Bell Centre in Montreal. For the Dominican born who was the much busier of the two fighters and landed solidly to the body with both hands throughout, it was yet another upset. Olivo has a draw against Jelena Mrdjenovich and handed Ana Julaton her first defeat. She has a rematch set for May against Mrdjenovich set for May.