The last time Lucian Bute fought Librado Andrade he won a unanimous decision that was tainted by a 12th round controversy.
This time Bute beat Andrade without any ifs, ands or buts, knocking out the Mexican with a brutal left hook to the body with three seconds left in the fourth round to remain unbeaten (25-0, 20 KOs).
With the stunning memory of his 12th round knockdown by Andrade in their first fight clearly on his mind, Bute seemed to fight tentatively through the first three rounds, boxing well enough to win on the scorecards, but appeared to lack aggressiveness and confidence.
But after being backed into the ropes by Andrade with just over a minute to go in the fourth round, Bute lashed out with a short left hook to the chin that dropped the Mexican for the first time in his career and turned the fight around.
Andrade got up from the knockdown and seemed to be unhurt, but a minute later, with the sellout crowd of 16,500 at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City roaring, Bute found his groove and fired a left hook from hell that caught Andrade smack on the liver and sent him down for the second and final time.
Bute's victory made something of a sage of HBO commentator Lennox Lewis. In his pre-fight analysis, Lewis talked about his shocking knockout loss in 2001 to Hasim Rahman, saying that "I felt that wasn't the real Lennox Lewis."
In an interview earlier in the week with HBO, Bute told Lewis basically the same thing about his first performance against Andrade. In post-fight comments to HBO's Max Kellerman Bute said, "I felt exactly like Lennox felt. The first fight was an accident. Tonight my fans saw the real Lucian Bute."
And what they saw was a budding international star that not only has impressive boxing skills and knockout power, but the heart of a champion.
With this victory over the top-five ranked Andrade, the door has opened to several lucrative and intriguing fights for the Canadian-based Bute.
His camp has talked about luring Kelly Pavlik up to 168, or Bute could go to 175 to take on fellow countryman and champion Jean Pascal in what would be a tremendous fight attraction in Quebec.
He could also challenge fellow undefeated champion Chad Dawson in what would be a fight with huge appeal in North America.
In the co-feature, lightweight Ali Funeka seemed to win by a comfortable margin over Joan Guzman, but the fight was ruled a draw when two judges scored it 114-114, while the third judge had it 116-112 for Funeka.
HBO BAD- Nov. 28, 2009
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