Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute dropped the ceremonial first puck last night at the Montreal Canadians -Buffalo Sabres hockey game at Bell Centre, where it was officially announced that Bute vs. Pascal will be held there on May 25.
Lucian Bute vs. Jean Pascal
May 25 at Bell Centre in Montreal
MONTREAL (March 20, 2013)– The ultimate Canadian boxing showdown on May 25, featuring world champions Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal, will be held at historic Bell Centre in Montreal, it was officially announced last night at the iconic venue by co-promoters InterBox and Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) during the Montreal Canadians hockey game.
Bute vs. Pascal has the potential to be the Greatest Fight in Canadian boxing history, eclipsing Roberto Duran-“Sugar” Ray Leonard I (1980 in Montreal), Muhammad Ali-George Chuvalo (1968 in Toronto) and Archie Moore-Yvon Durelle I (1958 in Montreal), in terms of national pride and popularity, as well as worldwide interest.
Romania-native Bute and Pascal, who was born in Haiti, have both lived for several years in the Montreal suburb of Laval, Quebec. They're world-class boxers in their fighting primes who have built large, passionate fan-bases throughout Canada. Both fighters proudly call Bell Centre their home: Bute is perfect in 20 fights (15 KOs) there and Pascal has won seven of eight fights (3 KOs).
The 33-year-old Bute (31-1, 24 KOs) captured the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super middleweight title in 2007, stopping defending champion Alejandro Berrio in the 11th round at Bell Centre. The talented southpaw, known as, “Le Tombeur” reeled-off nine straight successful title defenses – including three against world champions Glen Johnson, Brian Magee and William Joppy – before suffering his first loss as a professional last May to Carl Froch (TKO5) in the United Kingdom.
In his most recent fight, Bute moved up to fight in the light heavyweight division, winning a 12-round decision over previously unbeaten Russian invader Denis Grachev (12-0-1) for the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF) championship this past November at Bell Centre. Bute is world rated #2 by the World Boxing Council (WBC), #3 by The Ring Magazine, and #4 by the IBF and World Boxing Organization (WBO) in the super middleweight division.
Pascal (27-2-1, 16 KOs), a 2004 Canadian Olympian, moved up to the light heavyweight division in 2009, capturing the WBC 175-pound division crown by way of a 12-round decision over 26-0 Andrian Diaconu at Bell Centre. The 30-year-old Pascal, currently ranked #2 by the WBC, successfully defended his belt at Bell Centre against Silvio Branco (TKO10) and Diaconu (DEC12) in a rematch, and then he added the International Boxing Organization (IBO) championship by defeating 29-0 Chad Dawson by 11th round technical knockout.
Pascal fought a 12-round majority draw with living legend Bernard Hopkins, who won their rematch at Bell Centre by decision. Last December, Pascal returned to the ring at Bell Centre, overcoming a shoulder injury to win a 12-round decision versus 2004 Polish Olympian Alex Kuziemski.
The Jean Pascal (L) – Lucian Bute staredown on ice last night at the Bell Centre.
Important ticket sale information for Bute vs. Pascal
Tickets for this much anticipated mega-fight will go on sale Thursday, Mar. 28, at 10 a.m. ET. Members of the Evenko Newsletter, of Club Cage, and Vidéotron employees will benefit from an exclusive pre-sale period from Tuesday, Mar. 26 at 9 a.m. ET until Wednesday, Mar. 27 at 10 p.m. ET.
Press Conference open to the public
Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal will go face-to-face for the first time on Tuesday, Mar. 26 at 12:30 p.m. ET at the Bell Centre during the Official Press Conference to inaugurate this historic bout. This event will be open to the general public. Boxing fans across the Province will be able to witness the beginning of what is sure to be a very interesting two-month sprint to fight night.
Go to www.InterBox.ca or www.groupeyvonmichel.ca for more information, and follow on Twitter: @InterBoxca, @YvonMichelGYM, @lucianyl, @JeanPascalChamp