February 18, 2013
Pascal-Bute superfight confirmed for May 25: Sources
By BRIAN DALY, QMI Agency
MONTREAL - In a surprise development that ends years of trash talk and speculation, former world champions Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute will fight on May 25 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
QMI Agency has learned that Pascal’s non-title rematch against American Chad Dawson, scheduled for that date, has been postponed.
Sources say Bute’s promoter, InterBox, and Pascal’s agency, GYM, will finalize a deal in the next few days that might contain a rematch clause.
Bute (31-1, 24 KO) and Pascal (27-2-1, 16 KO) should earn nearly $2 million each for the fight.
A Pascal-Bute matchup could be the most lucrative bout ever staged between two Canadian fighters, perhaps explaining why Dawson was pushed aside.
It’s not clear if HBO or Showtime will broadcast the fight.
The presidents of InterBox and GYM met this weekend and the Bute-Pascal fight was initially expected to happen around Christmas.
On Sunday morning, Bute’s promoter, Jean Bedard, tweeted “good 'meeting' in Atlantic City with (Pascal promoter) Yvon Michel. I confirmed to him that Lucian Bute is ready for Jean Pascal at any time.”
Michel told QMI Agency that “we want to do it” and that “we’ll do everything to make that happen by the end of the year.”
Bute and Pascal were super-middleweight and light-heavyweight champions, respectively, and they have been the top two Canadian fighters in recent years.
Pascal has accused Bute of dodging him for bigger paydays against the likes of Karl Froch and Andre Ward.
Froch destroyed Bute last year, putting the Montrealer out of contention for any possible fight against Ward, arguably the world's top pound-for-pound fighter.
The Romanian-born Montrealer had won his first 30 fights, mostly in his hometown, and defended his IBF super-middleweight title nine times before losing to Froch in the challenger’s hometown of Nottingham, England.
Pascal, meanwhile, emerged onto the world boxing scene in August 2010 by upseting Dawson to take the IBO light-heavyweight belt.
He then lost the title to American legend Bernard Hopkins in 2011.
Bute and Pascal have since won tuneup fights against unheralded opponents on their respective comeback trails.