It was announced that the light heavyweight showdown between two top 10 ranked boxers Lucian Bute (31-1, 24 KO) and Jean Pascal (27-2-1, 16 KO) —set for May 25—has been postponed due to an injury Bute sustained during training resulting in surgery to remove bone fragments from his left hand.
Yvon Michel, President of GYM and co-promoter of the event with InterBox, shared the following,” Obviously, when we first heard the news a few hours ago, we were all in shock. This is part of boxing and we are aware that we have to live and deal with these contingencies. Our perception is that this only a postponement. We ask Quebec to show understanding and patience. We wish a speedy recovery to Lucian.”
Bute had his first fight at light heavyweight since moving up from super middleweight last November, and defeated Denis Grachev in a 12-round contest for the NABF light heavyweight title.
The fight between Bute and Pascal was more than a showdown to determine who the best light heavyweight was in Canada, but the winner would easily line himself up for a potential world title fight against champion Bernard Hopkins sometime in 2013. Hopkins is currently scheduled to fight Karo Murat in July.
Hopkins stripped the WBC light heavyweight from Pascal in 2011, and the Canadian fighter was anxious to get back into the ring against a formidable opponent in Bute and work his way back to the world title contention.
“I thought I was in the best shape of my life and very optimistic about my fight with Bute,” Pascal commented from training camp. “We need to start over but I am a professional. I know that these things happen and I think that sooner or later we will both be in the ring to settle our differences. And I would like to add that I would still fight on May 25. I am ready to face anyone.”
At the time GYM and InterBox are currently in research and analysis solution mode to come up with the best way to proceed with the May 25 show.
Unfortunately these things do happen in boxing, where a fighter trains relentlessly day in and day out in anticipation of the big fight they need to get one step closer to fighting for the belt, and an unforeseen circumstance arises.
If the promoters are able to find a replacement fighter for Bute, Pascal and his team must make a decision—whether or not to fight a lesser known name just to stay active and get the rounds in, or hold off for a big name to keep their contention dreams alive for 2013.