Saturday, March 02, 2024  |


Lucian Bute halts Andrea Di Luisa in four rounds

Fighters Network

Former super middleweight standout Lucian Bute stopped Andrea Di Luisa in the fourth round of their light heavyweight main event at Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday.

Bute dropped Di Luisa with a left cross midway through Round 4. The former IBF 168-pound titleholder followed up with stiff one-two combinations and flush right hooks that forced Di Luisa’s corner to throw in the towel. Referee Steve St-Germain waved the fight off at 1:53 of the round.

The scheduled 10 rounder was televised live on NBC Sports Net in the U.S.

Bute (32-2, 25 knockouts), a popular Montreal-based Romanian, used the first three rounds of the bout to knock off some ring rust. The 35-year-old southpaw hadn’t fought since last January (a decision loss to former light heavyweight champ Jean Pascal) due to an injury and a switch in trainers (from Freddie Roach to Howard and Otis Grant). The fight with Di Luisa (17-3, 13 KOs), an unheralded 33 year old from Italy, was only the third time Bute has been in the ring since suffering a brutal fifth-round TKO to Carl Froch in May 2012.

“Lucian Bute is back! He’s back! He’s back!” Bute exclaimed during his post-fight interview. “After 19 months (away from the ring) I worked very hard in the gym. My team told me to take my time. I felt great.”

He looked great once he began letting his hands go. Bute landed 41 percent of his total punches, 65 percent of his power shots, according punch stats.

In the co-featured bout of the “PBC on NBCSN” broadcast, light heavyweight contender Eleider Alvarez remained unbeaten with a 12-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Isidro Prieto. Alvarez (18-0, 11 KOs), a 31-year-old Colombian now based in Montreal, won by unanimous scores of 117-111 in a brisk-but-sometimes-sloppy slugfest.

Prieto (24-1-3, 20 KOs), a 29 year old from Paraguay, had his moments during the bout, especially in Round 6 when he rocked Alvarez bad enough to force the house fighter to grab and tackle him to the canvas. Many fans watching the bout expressed the opinion that the fight was closer than the official scores on social media, but all agreed that the right fighter won.

Alvarez is currently THE RING’s No. 5-rated light heavyweight.