Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Jean Pascal easily defeated Lucian Bute, who has clearly lost confidence in his abilities.
It was billed as the Battle of Montreal, but unfortunately for fans, only one fighter wanted to do battle.
Former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal outworked, outfought and out-landed fellow Montreal-based former champion Lucian Bute over 12 mostly one-sided rounds on Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
It was Pascal's first victory at a world-class level in over three years, and it came in his customary fashion.
He utilized good movement and feints to lull Bute into frequent periods of complete offensive inactivity, and then he exploded out at him, darting into range, landing big, discouraging shots and getting back out before his foe could return fire.
Overall, it was a very solid performance, and it will likely earn him another significant light heavyweight fight, with rumors of another all-Canada light heavyweight showdown—against division kingpin Adonis Stevenson—in Montreal already flowing fast and furious.
As for Bute, a former world champion at super middleweight, it might be time to step away from the sport.
He's clearly not the same fighter since being absolutely blown out by Carl Froch in May of 2012. He seems to have lost all of his confidence and appeared wobbly, really downright nervous, every time Pascal went on the attack.
Bute would stiffen up, go into pure survival mode and make no real attempt to change the game with counterpunching, which was once his biggest strength.
A final-round rally, in which he seemed to have Pascal in some trouble and showed he can still be dangerous, notwithstanding, it's clear that he's, at least from a psychological standpoint, damaged goods.
The flesh, in this case, is willing, but it's the spirit that's weak.