Lucian Bute, now fighting out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada (29-0 24 KOs,) versus the accomplished gentlemen “Road Warrior” Glen Johnson (51-15-2 35 KOs,) is a very intriguing, worth-our-whie fight. Critics says, yes, Bute does indeed appear to have some very good talent, and he has not been fighting bums either, but when is he going to take on the best Super Middleweights in the world? Now, while Johnson is no spring chicken at the age of 42 years old, and fighters can always age over night, but Johnson has still been effective as of late in his career. Glen was the Undisputed Light Heavyweight Champion of the World, and garnered Fighter of the Year honors in 2004. Even though he has been on the decline, he has since stayed very competitive against elite competition. Johnson has suffered four very close decision losses to the likes of Chad Dawson twice, Tavoris Cloud, and most recently, Carl Froch; All fights for Johnson were World Championship bouts. The Jamaican native is a boxing wonder, still taking all comers in his weight divisions and giving them stiff tests each time out despite being forty two years old. As for Lucian Bute, the highly coveted, undefeated, Canadian star, has largely dazzled his countrymen and boxing fans alike with his hand speed and unorthodox angles who’s punches carry legit knockout power when landed correctly. With the exception of his to hell-and-back encounter with Librado Andrade in October of 2008, Bute has looked impeccable thus far against the competition he has gone up against . It is not like he is just fighting ‘joe schmos’ either, Bute is the IBF Super Middleweight Champion of the World. Although he has not been in yet with fighters like Abraham, Froch, Dirrel, Kessler, and Ward, he has still shown he is far from a paper champion, or at least a guy who is gonna be around getting shots at top fighters for the next few years, at the least. No one in boxing is saying he can not be a top pound-for-pound for fighter either, there are just skeptics abound, but Glen Johnson is a throwback kinda guy. He really does come to fight, and to win and he is a tough son-of-a-you-know-what. That does not necessarily mean that is going to carry the day for an older fighter such as himself. However, with older fighters they at times do still have the angles, the range, the right coordination to fire off some shots. Yet with the age taking its toll, they become less and less effective in using their tools. Some men are like fine wine, only getting better with age, or rather they do not deteriorate as quickly as others. Glen Johnson is one of those guys, ala Archie Moore and Bernard Hopkins, guys who can still get it done when they should not be able to past the age of forty. Looking at Bute’s dossier, you do not seen how any fighter he is faced thus far can compare with Johnson’s accomplishments, but this could be a case of “What have you done for me lately?”. To his credit, Glen Johnson has fought much more accomplished fighters than Bute has…..Roy Jones Jr, anybody? Lucian Bute and his supporters would probably read this and say that were speaking on ancient times, and they hold a lot of validity to that point. Glen Johnson, despite giving a great go of it and having some good moments, particularly in his first bout with Chad Dawson. Has come up short in his last four World Title attempts, and he has not gotten any younger. Not to be confused with the fine wine comparison, of getting older with better quality, but just older. Glen is a warrior, he has been in some memorable fights that have taken some gas out of the tank, he is not at his peak anymore,he still has the heart of a champion, but he just will not get it done against Lucian Bute. This version of Glen Johnson is not the best Glen Johnson thats ever stepped into the ring, however his intelligence applied pressure is still very top notch. A skill that probably has not been seen for Bute before in his career, a wrinkle that can cause problems for the favorite all night, or just momentarily. This will depend on if Bute has the know how to make adjustments if Johnson’s pressure begins to mount effectively. A successful defense for Bute would mark his ninth successful title defense of his IBF World Championship, after wining the title in October of 2007. For Johnson, the former Undisputed Light Heavyweight Champion, it’ would mark his second reign as Light Heavyweight Title holder. Glen Johnson showed plenty of competitiveness against Carl Froch, but Bute’s movement is superior and hand speed is as well. It is true, Froch may be physically stronger, and can with stand the onslaught of Johnson’s pressure better than Bute can. Bearing that in mind, there is a good chance that Johnson will surprise Bute with his craft and aggression at times, and it is very likely that the betting man would be wise to bet on Johnson going the distance. However Bute superior advantages and talent in hand speed and movement should keep the young man undefeated as the old warrior gives a far from shameful performance for himself, something we have become a bit accustomed to. If Bute is successful, all kudos to him because Glen Johnson is a real, top Super Middleweight or Light Heavyweight fighter whose even more dangerous when he is the underdog, he always comes to fight. With that being said, for the coming future, Lucian Bute can not cling on to his IBF Championship and keep making title defense against anything but the top Super Middleweights in the world.
Glen Johnson has made predictions such as these which seem foolish in retrospect time and time again, but here goes nothing. When Glen made those that doubted him being victorious, he did so when he was a little faster, had more agility, better conditioning, stronger, and younger. Such is not the case now. If Lucian Bute clearly beats Glen Johnson it is a good win for him. If Lucian Bute dominates Glen Johnson, in spectacular fashion, than it is a very impressive win. A win that will assuredly have him universally vaulted as one of the very top Super Middleweights in the world, a fighter with fans who believe he could beat any man at 168 pounds.
Lucian Bute via Unanimous Decision Victory.