Controversial finish at the Bell centre.
During the wee hours on Friday, Lucian Bute was defending his IBF super-middleweight title against Librado Andrade. The fight was entertaining, intense and ended with a controversial 12th round.
For the record, Lucian Bute retained his IBF title by unanimous decision. But should this last round lasted another thirty seconds, Librado Andrade would've walked out of Montreal the IBF super-middleweight champion with a 12th round KO victory.
After the 11th round, Lucian Bute was clearly ahead on the judges' score cards. He managed his fight brillantly using his speed and technique to his advantage. With such a good lead going into the final round, Bute decided to give a little more show to the screaming fans gathered at the Bell centre.
This mistake almost costed Lucian Bute his IBF title. Librado Andrade continued his charges while going forward and caught the champion with a bundle of shots. The champion was reeling, barely hanging on. Then with only a few seconds to go to the final round, Bute fell down in the corner.
The champion was clearly stunned and was brought to the limit of his stamina by the challenger. As the referee was delivering his ten count to the champion, Andrade walked towards the center of the ring, leaving the neutral corner he was assigned to by the referee. Marlon B. Wright stopped his count and admonished Andrade to go back to the neutral corner before resuming his count to Bute.
Those extra seconds allowed Lucian Bute to pick himself up in time before the referee could reach the count of ten. The 12th round ended only a few seconds later to the displeasure of the challenger and his corner. The judges' scorecards favored the champion and a controversy was born.
The challenger and his coaches will appeal of this decision towards the IBF and we should hear a bit more on this situation in the coming weeks. But the best way to resolve this situation is to allow a rematch between those two fighters as soon as possible.
(Picture: Lucian Bute and Librado Andrade, Canadian Press.)