Centre Videotron, Quebec City, Quebec - In a WBC final eliminator, Eleider Alvarez (22-0, 11 KOs) scored a fifth round knockout over former 168-pound world champion Lucian Bute (32-4-1, 25 KOs). Alvarez is the mandatory challenger to WBC world champion Adonis Stevenson.
Stevenson returns to the ring on April 29th, but it's not clear if he intends to make his mandatory defense on that date.
For Bute, this was his first bout since going to a controversial twelve round draw with then WBC 168-pound champion Badou Jack in April of last year. After the contest, Bute tested for a banned substance and it took months of legal wrangling for the Canadian boxer to clear his name. Alvarez fought in December with a ten round decision over Norbert Dabrowski.
The fight began with a very calculated boxing exhibition. Bute had a minor edge in the early going. There was a clash of heads in the second round, which opened up a cut on Bute's nose and Alvarez's forehead. The two boxers were picking their spots and taking turns doing damage by landing accurate counters.
Bute started pressing the action in the third, coming forward with solid punches as he saw blood streaming down the face of Alvarez. Bute was getting off with the better punches in the fourth, with the crowd starting their chants of 'Bute, Bute.'
In the fifth, Alvarez started coming on strong. He landed a big combination to send Bute down on his back and he barely got up to his feet. Once Bute was able to stand up, he was on unsteady legs and out on his feet - with the referee waving off the fight.
It was the first stoppage loss for Bute since getting knocked out by Carl Froch in 2012.
Heavyweight prospect Adam Braidwood (7-1, 6 KOs) scored a vicious fifth round knockout over local fan favorite Eric Martel (11-7-1, 7 KOs).
After three lackluster rounds, Braidwood came within a second of knocking out Martel at the end of the fourth round. Martel was being battered and out on his feet. As Martel turned his back against the ropes, the ref jumped in and it appeared to be the end of the fight - but the ref simply signaled the end of the round.
In the fifth, Braidwood scored two knockdowns to put Martel away. The second knockdown saw Martel go down face first and barely made it to his feet, with the referee waving off the fight.
In a junior middleweight bout, Sebastien Bouchard (15-1, 5 KOs) won an eight round unanimous decision over Gustavo Garibay (13-8-2). Bouchard started slow, but picked up the pace as the fight went along to outbox Garibay.
The scores were 77-75, 78-74 and 79-73.
The fight was the seventh straight win for Bouchard since losing a decision to Frank Galarza in a Showtime televised fight in May of 2014.
For the vacant WBO/NABO middleweight title and IBF International title, Francis Lafreniere (15-5-2, 8 KOs) won a very tough ten round split decision over Uriel Gonzalez (15-2-1, 11 KOs). The scores were 96-95 Gonzalez, 98-92 for Lafreniere, and 96-94 for Lafreniere.
The fight was a give and take battle, with both boxers standing on the inside and trading punches for most of the ten rounds with no stop.