By Jake Donovan
Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute are prepared to step to the scale for the official weigh-in to their 12-round main event Saturday evening in Montreal, Canada. The light heavyweight bout will air live on HBO, marking the network's first boxing telecast of 2014.
Bute (31-1, 24KO) was given a hero's welcome as he made his way to the stage for Friday's weigh-in. The former super middleweight titlist looked a bit tight, but was lean and ready at 173.6 lb for his first fight in more than a year.
The Romanian-Canadian was clearly the crowd favorite, as chants of "Bu-té" rang through the room. Pascal's entrance came in stark contrast, lustily booed by the boisterous patrons on hand to take in Friday's festivities.
Pascal (28-2-1, 17KO) hit the scales at a deeply ripped 175 lb. The Haitian-Canadian was slightly over the limit on his first attempt, but a quick removal of stocking cap and du-rag turned out to be the difference in making weight.
In the televised opener, unbeaten Mike Perez faces Carlos Takam in a scheduled 10-round heavyweight bout.
Perez weighed 231.2 lb for his first fight since his HBO debut last November, a 10-round win over Magomed Abdulsalamov. Takam came in at 256 lb.
Perez is dedicating Saturday's fight to Abdulsalamov, who suffered injuries during the bout requiring emergency brain surgery.
Off-camera, unbeaten light heavyweight Eledeir Alvarez squares off versus Andriw Gardiner in a matchup of unbeaten prospects.
Alvarez was originally slated to appear in the evening's co-feature attraction, but was dropped from the telecast after his original opponent, Thomas Oosthuizen withdrew from the bout following injuries sustained in a motor bike accident. Gardiner was brought in as a late replacement, but whose credentials—his unbeaten record notwithstanding—were deemed not yet fit for prime time viewing.
Alvarez weighed 177.2 lb, while Gardiner tipped the scales at 177.6 lb.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
Tags: Jean Pascal , Lucian Bute , Bute-Pascal , Bute vs. Pascal