Statistics have shown us over the years that almost without fail, the winner of a rematch in boxing is the same as the guy who won the first fight. Lucian Bute left Montreal last October with a hotly debated decision win over Librado Andrade, and most figured he'd win the rematch.
But a fourth round knockout? Who had that pick?
Bute (25-0, 20 KO) won the first three rounds much as he won most rounds last year against Andrade (28-3, 21 KO), by outboxing him, making him chase, and keeping him from establishing anything on the offensive side. Andrade did get a few right hands in, but it was Bute landing the harder, more noticeable shots, including a series of wicked left hands in the third.
But Andrade is famous for his iron chin, and he barely flinched at Bute's power. The next round, Bute caught Andrade with a short left hand that Andrade never saw coming, and Andrade came back up and fought on. He kept moving forward, showing no real ill effects.
And then boom -- body shot. Down went Andrade, and Andrade didn't get up. A perfectly placed, vicious punch to the ribcage put Andrade down for the count.
Like you'd expect of Andrade, it looked like he was trying with all his will to get up.
Bute established himself, in my view, as the best 168-pound fighter in the world, but that's not meant to downgrade the guys in the Super Six, namely Andre Ward and Arthur Abraham. What it should tell you instead is that this is maybe the most complete, competitive, and stacked division in the sport today. Welterweight is exceptional at the top, but there are contenders at super middleweight much deeper.
Watching Andrade get knocked out is something I won't soon forget. I'm a huge fan of his -- watching him fight is thrilling. Hats off to Lucian Bute for knocking out the indestructible Andrade, and for making as strong a case as possible that the best fighter at 168 pounds isn't in the Super Six.