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Canadian star Lucian Bute has found his dance partner. With Mikkel Kessler
exploring other options (smart) and Kelly Pavlik figuring out his life, a fan favorite, Glen Johnson
is travelling to Canada to take on Bute. Kessler will stay in Europe and fight Robert Steiglitz in a great European match. This is a great option for Kessler and makes the future option of a Bute-Kessler matchup even more lucrative. Kessler is still in the mix of top super middleweights. A loss to Bute would drop him down the list significantly. Kessler stays in Europe and it’s a respectable choice.
Johnson, who is fighting for less money than what was offered to Kessler or Pavlik, is what we need in boxing. He is 2-3 in his last five outings. But his last five fights have all been on national television. This is a man who fights the top fighters, and although he loses, he is competitive, entertaining and an honest man that fans love. Because of that, the national spotlight rewards him, regardless of his record. This man is also 42. The great Bernard Hopkins, 46, overshadows Johnson’s age but most 42-year-old boxers are no longer boxing, especially competitively on the highest level.
Bute, the favorite, will very likely win. Never has Lucian fought such a rugged, game fighter. This is a very interested and exciting match-up. Bute’s chin has been caught, putting him down. Can Johnson’s pressure be the changing factor in the fight? The fans will have to wait and see when Bute-Johnson happens.
In this situation, one man is left without a dance partner. That man is Tavouris Cloud. Although Cloud dominates in the 175 pound division, he has beat Johnson and a fight with Bute was discussed. As we see, Bute has an opponent and Cloud does not. There are options for Cloud, but no one as big as Bute. Chad Dawson and Bernard Hopkins are tied up and the winner would not be ready to fight till late 2011/early 2012. Zsolt Erdei would be a great fight, but the risk reward factor is out of whack and not a money fight. Jean Pascal has been discussed, but again, the fight seems to have fallen through.
After Bernard Hopkins beats Chad Dawson, as fans, we hope to see Hopkins fight the toughest man in the division (besides himself) or let Dawson take one last shot at redemption. If there is no fall fight for Cloud, let us all hope that he is on deck for the winner or loser of Hopkins-Pascal.
There is great talent at 168-175 and endless matchups that the fans deserve. Let us hope that politics do not hold back the fireworks that await in the future in these weight classes.
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