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October 23, 2021
SPORTS

Boxing: Bute KOs Miranda to retain IBF title

MONTREAL – The Romanian Lucian Bute retained his International Boxing Federation super-middleweight title with remarkable ease on Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, scoring a technical knockout at 1:22 of the third round against Edison Miranda before 13,682 raucous fans – and probably millions others watching on HBO, the cable network that was making its first foray into Montreal.


Bute remains undefeated, with a 26-0 record. He also produced the 21st knockout of his sensational career in making the fifth defence of the 168-pound title he captured in October 2007 against Alejandro Berrio. Bute was coming off a fourth-round knockout against Librado Andrade last November, in Quebec. Miranda came out aggressively to start the third and, at one point, defiantly challenged Bute to hit him – initially pounding his chest, as if Bute required a target, before resting his gloves against his hips. Predictably, Bute took the bait. He scored with a left hook that appeared to hurt Miranda, eventually dropping him face-first to the canvas with a thunderous left uppercut. Miranda beat the count from referee Ernie Sharif, but was clearly wobbly and unable to continue. Sharif, a Pittsburgh native working his 15th world-title bout, signaled the end. “I told Lucian one day that he would get the orgasm of boxing – that is, a knockout by an uppercut,” said Stéphan Larouche, Bute’s trainer. “That’s the best knockout there is. “I can’t say I knew I was going to knock him out,” Bute said quoted by montrealgazette.com, “but I saw in his eyes that he was worried. He made it look like I didn’t hurt him. So I thought, okay, now you’ll see.


“I’m very happy with my performance,” he added. “It (the uppercut) was a good feeling. I’ll leave it at that.” Both boxers started the bout cautiously; Miranda extending his left arm as a bit of a shield. Eventually, the two started jabbing, with the exchanges fairly even. A Bute left hand got through with Miranda against the ropes, and the champion started scoring with right-left combinations in the round’s final minute.


“The plan wasn’t to box defensively, but to attack and be aggressive,” said Bute, scheduled to next fight July 25 in his native Romania.


“Against Miranda, you’ve got to attack. If you’re defensive and step back, you’re not productive and he becomes dangerous.”


In a preliminary bout, Renan St. Juste scored a TKO at 1:27 of the ninth round against Dionisio Miranda. St. Juste retained his World Boxing Council Continental and North American Boxing Association middleweight titles. He improved to 21-1-1 with 14 KOs.

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