Quick Jabs: Lucian Bute's underwhelming victory, Jean Pascal's return and more
Some quick jabs …
• Lucian Bute needed a win to regain his confidence after last May’s devastating knockout loss to Carl Froch. But nothing I saw in Bute’s unanimous-decision win over Denis Grachev on Saturday convinced me Bute will beat Froch in a rematch, tentatively scheduled for next March. Bute looked tentative at times, was backed up way too often and looked clueless when forced to fight on the inside. Put it simple: If that Bute shows up against Froch, it will be lights out again.
• A quick thought on Grachev: I believed he was a good fighter when the Bute fight was made, and I still do. The fight was close -- the 118-110 card submitted by Canadian judge Claude Paquette reeked of hometown scoring -- and Grachev was the aggressor throughout. The super middleweight division is loaded and I would have no problem seeing Grachev in a big fight next year.
• Maybe it’s just me, but I’m really looking forward to Wladimir Klitschko’s fight against undefeated 6-foot-8 challenger Mariusz Wach. I think it has the potential to be a pretty good fight.
• Count me among the many disappointed that Tyson Fury’s fight against Denis Boytsov has been called off. Fury-Boytsov was just the kind of fight the heavyweight division needs: a matchup between two undefeated, would-be contenders that would bolster the resume of the winner and weed the loser out of the division rankings. What’s worse, Boytsov pulled out because, according to his promoter, he wasn’t going to be in shape for the fight. Not in shape? Then why did he agree to the fight in the first place?
• Marco Huck’s entertaining cruiserweight title defense over 42-year old Firat Arslan was fun to watch but provided incontestable proof that Huck should not go anywhere near Wladimir Klitschko. Huck is young (27) but is showing the wear and tear of a fighter who doesn’t know how to duck. A matchup with Klitschko -- which Huck has publicly pleaded for -- would be criminal.
• Hey, look, Jean Pascal is coming back. That is until Pascal -- inactive since losing to Bernard Hopkins in May 2011 -- finds a reason not fight. Between Pascal and Andre Dirrell, I’m not sure who has wasted more prime fighting years.
• Almost four pounds over the light heavyweight limit. Way to be professional, Allan Green.
• This 50 Cent-Floyd Mayweather feud is pretty entertaining, and it only figures to get better. History suggests that 50 will soon release a track bashing Mayweather and Mayweather will use the press tour for his next fight to verbally smack 50 around all over the country. Still, in a battle for the boxing industry, my money is on Mayweather. Floyd is a marketing genius with the biggest draw in town -- himself -- in his stable. 50 Cent has an unwatchable fighter in Billy Dib, an inactive one in Andre Dirrell and another, Yuri Gamboa, who may be on his way back to Top Rank. 50 is a gifted recording artist but he doesn’t seem to have a clue about how to make it in boxing.
• Memo to Tom Loeffler: Keep Gennady Golovkin away from the super middleweights. The latest intel has Golovkin returning in January against either Edwin Rodriguez or Thomas Oosthuizen, two 168-pounders. Golovkin is powerful and seriously skilled but he is not a particularly big middleweight (5-foot-10) and it makes no sense for him to be moving up. I admire Golovkin’s willingness to take on all comers, but a better fight -- with the understanding that neither Daniel Geale or Peter Quillin will face him -- is Matthew Macklin. Golovkin-Macklin would sell a lot of tickets at the Madison Square Garden theater and be a pretty good fight.
-- Chris Mannix