After witnessing Lucian Bute’s demise against Carl Froch in 2012 I have to say I would be very surprised if the Romanian-Canadian can ever reach his previous level prior to that fateful night in Nottingham.
Bute, who is approaching his 34th birthday, has fought just once since that terrible defeat 20 months ago, with even that unanimous decision over Denis Grachev looking like harder work than it needed to be.
Enter former world champion Jean Pascal, who himself is a Froch victim on his hometown soil, as the two battle it out to be named the best Canadian light-heavyweight currently not in possession of a world title.
On paper, this fight would have been a barnstormer four years ago but with both fighter’s having sustained periods of inactivity, it is hard to gauge which of the two would begin as the favourite to prevail.
For my money I would have to give Pascal the edge as his latest loss came against Bernard Hopkins in 2011 and for no point in that encounter was the ex-Commonwealth gold medallist ever out of the fight.
I just can’t see past the Froch demolition job on Bute and how much affect a beating like that can have on a fighter. Bute was dismantled and badly stopped whilst sagging on the ropes and admitted himself that he has found it difficult to shake it from his psyche.
I’d have to say a Pascal victory is on the cards at the Bell Centre on Saturday night, with another TKO a distinct possibility, which would in turn would leave Bute staring at a certain retirement unless he can fend off the demons of doubt left by the Froch devastation.
Whether Pascal could then go on to give any sort of challenge to current king Adonis Stevenson would be highly questionable.
Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay for tweets of upcoming news on WBN