Canadian Corner: Bute, Lemieux and Toney, too

Shawn Smith
05/10/2015 7:49am

Although it’s been a few months since Canada hosted a major show of its own (sorry Adonis Stevenson, but that abomination against Tommy Karpency doesn’t count), the calendar picks up as autumn approaches.

The fight between Lucian Bute and England’s IBF 168lbs champion James DeGale has finally been confirmed. It was originally expected for 31 October, then 14 November, but finally fell on 28 November at the Videotron Centre in Quebec.

At 35, Bute isn’t the same fighter who made nine defenses of his IBF super-middleweight title between 2007 and 2012. With his chin slipping, DeGale is Bute’s last real chance at a world championship. Both fighters are known for their slick punching while Bute is known to have a little more power in his hands. Youth is on DeGale’s side, as is technique, and it’s going to take a titanic effort from the Romanian-turned-Quebecer to walk away with another world championship.

On 17 October, perhaps the mostly highly anticipated fight in boxing takes place as everyone’s favourite fake Mexican Gennady Golovkin, battles hard-hitting French Canadian in David Lemieux. While other contenders have backed away from Golovkin, Lemieux has shown no fear to date as the fight quickly approaches. We’ll see how he feels after a round or two of GGG’s vicious attacks.

There are plenty of buses heading down from Montreal for the fight, as well as viewing parties around the city. This fight is a big deal in Montreal. While it’s great that Stevenson, Bute and Jean Pascal have all brought world titles to the city, there are few things Quebecers love more than a true homebred superstar. With the upset, Lemieux has the opportunity to become one of Quebec (and the country’s) best Canadian-born fighters of all-time.

On the regional circuit, new promoter Gilles Morrissette is scheduled to put on quite the show at Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre on 13 November. Headlining will be former great James Toney against Quebec City’s Eric Martel Bahoeli. The bout will mark Toney’s 90th as a professional fighter.

If you’re wondering how commissions continue to license Toney, keep in mind this is the same Ontario Athletic Commission that licensed a completely broken down Vivian Harris last month.

On that same card, former IBF super-bantamweight title-holder Steve Molitor is coming out of retirement to compete again, but no opponent has been named yet. British fans may remember Molitor for his last fight against Carl Frampton, in which the Belfast man made quick work of the veteran, finishing him in only six rounds.

Promoter Lee Baxter just announced his next card, scheduled for the Muzik Event Centre in Toronto on 22 October. Samuel Vargas is expected to contend for the WBA-NABA welterweight title when he takes on Robson Assis (15-1, 8 KOs).

Original plans called for Tyson Cave to fight for a world championship on this show, but it looks like that’s unlikely to happen at this point. Cave originally told Boxing Monthly that he’d be challenging for the IBO super-bantamweight title in November, but no further announcement has been made at this time.