By Jake Donovan
Denis Grachev is still three weeks away from his November 3 showdown against Lucian Bute, but continues to foam at the mouth over the thought of yet another upset on his resume.
It will be more than six months by fight night since his off-the-canvas upset knockout win over Ismayl Sillakh earlier this year on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights. Sillakh was being groomed as the next big star at light heavyweight, but Grachev showed no fear in racking up what became his third win over an unbeaten fighter in the span of four fights.
His being chosen as the comeback opponent of choice for Bute was met with mild surprise. Even in claiming homefield advantage with the fight taking place at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Bute is still only a few months removed from a violent knockout loss at the hands of Carl Froch.
The thought of handing the southpaw a second straight defeat hasn't just crossed Grachev's mind; it's the only possible outcome he can envision.
"I am looking for a knockout'" Grachev (12-0-1,8KO) bluntly states of the upcoming bout, which airs live in the U.S. on Wealth TV.
The belief is that Bute (30-1, 24KO) will do everything in his power to avoid that scenario. Simply put, a boxing exhibition is expected from the transplanted Romanian, who claimed dual citizenship in Canada earlier this year.
With that game plan in mind, it's up to Grachev to force a dogfight. He wouldn't have it any other way.
"Bute is a very good fighter, but he showed in his last fight that he can't handle pressure," insists Grachev, a Russian export who now fights out of San Diego, Calif. "We are prepared for a tough 12 round fight, but we will apply pressure from round one to round 12."
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox