By Keith Idec
Adonis Stevenson took a diplomatic approach toward Saturday’s showdown in Montreal between the former champions who’ll try to become Quebec’s second-best light heavyweight.
“I think Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal, both guys have questions to answer,” Stevenson told BoxingScene.com. “I think it’s a good matchup. The fight is 50-50. Bute lost to Carl Froch and Pascal lost to Bernard Hopkins. Then he came back to win two fights. Both guys have to prove themselves now.”
Stevenson (23-1, 20 KOs) will watch the fight from a ringside seat, but he didn’t express interest in facing the winner, despite that fights against Bute or Pascal would do big business in boxing-crazed Quebec. The WBC light heavyweight champion trained alongside and sparred against Bute and Pascal earlier in his career in Montreal, where all three fighters have developed big fan followings in recent years. He also is friendly with Pascal, who, like Stevenson, is promoted by Yvon Michel.
The Bute-Pascal clash will headline HBO’s doubleheader from Bell Centre, home of the NHL’s Canadiens. Their 12-rounder will mark the first fight in 14 months for the 33-year-old Bute (31-1, 24 KOs), who’s a slight underdog against the 31-year-old Pascal (28-2-1, 17 KOs).
Heavyweights Mike Perez (20-0, 12 KOs), a native of Cuba who resides in Ireland, and Cameroon’s Carlos Takam (29-1, 23 KOs) will square off in a 10-round bout that’ll start HBO’s broadcast at 10:15 ET/PT.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.