At the Videotron Center in Quebec City on Friday night, unbeaten contender Eleider Alvarez, 22-0, 11 KO’s scored a punishing fifth-round stoppage over former IBF super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute, 32-4-1, 25 KO’s. The Columbian-born fighter was rated #4 at 175 lbs by The Ring before entering the ring last night.
The up-and-coming light heavyweight contender Alvarez closed the deal with two powerful right hands to the jaw which floored Bute. The veteran southpaw was badly hurt from the first blow and involuntarily left his chin in the air for the second. He bravely struggled to his feet, but was in no position to continue when referee Marlon Wright halted the action. The official time was 2:22.
Alvarez was able to catch Bute’s long shots with his gloves and countered effectively to the mid-section. It was clear in the first round that Alvarez, who was very effective with his right hand, was the quicker of the two and he aggressively took the fight to Bute. In Round 3, he started fast, stunning the former titleholder with sharp single shots before taunting him verbally. Bute, who showed little ability to counter his opponent, was short on answers and his body language conveyed discomfort. Blood also trickled freely from a cut on the bridge of his nose.
Bute, who did some success in the fourth round, when he trapped Alvarez in the corner and unloaded with some sharp combinations. Unfortunately, Bute absorbed a solid barrage of counter punching in retaliation. The former champion was unable to match the younger fighter’s strength and toughness.
Alvarez’s finishing blows were set up by body punches and this stoppage will be a big boost to his confidence. Bute, who was competitive in a loss and a draw to James DeGale and Badou Jack respectively, at super middleweight, was still considered safe money for Alvarez.
Lucian Bute, who seems unlikely to get back into title contention, won the IBF World Super Middleweight title in October 2007 and made nine successful title defenses during his reign. He lost his crown to Carl Froch in Nottingham, United Kingdom, in May 2012.