Bute stops Joppy in 10

By Geoff Roberts


Bute stops Joppy in 10

IBF Super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (22-0-18 Kos), formerly of Romania and now fighting out of Montreal, Quebec, faced off against the durable and experienced American William Joppy, (39-5-1-30 Kos) former three-time WBA middleweight champion, to a capacity crowd of 14,000 at the Bell Centre in Montreal Saturday night.  Although the scales state Bute weighed 167.4 pounds and Joppy 167.8 pounds Bute, at six foot two inches, was 5 inches taller than his opponent and appeared heavier looking. 

The height difference gave the champion a definite advantage over the older American fighter.  Throughout the first round, Bute, a southpaw, evaded most of what Joppy directed at him and let the other man know he had made a mistake in taking on the champion.   If the gutsy Joppy had a defence against the taller man’s swift right hooks and straight left hands, it was certainly not on evidence during the fight.   

Time and time again, Bute’s left-hand blows penetrated Joppy’s feeble guard with the force and accuracy of guided missiles.  Straight left hands to the head, left hooks to the body, left uppercuts to the head and body.  It was as if Joppy couldn’t see them coming or else someone had told him he was going to be in there with a one-handed opponent.  While waiting for the bell to start the fourth round, Joppy stood up in his corner to wait.  His face was wreathed in worry.  Apparently, he too, had realized he was in for a long night, or, probably, a short one.  And he was.  Both.  For nine punishing rounds, he proved little more than a punching bag for the champion.  He appeared to be catching everything the taller, younger man threw his way.  And he was attempting little in the way of retaliation. 

The simple fact of the matter was that aiming anything in Bute’s direction was a dangerous act that was bound to be answered by that devastating left hand of the champion’s. It was riskier than craps.  Finally, early in the tenth round, both Joppy and the referee realized the former middleweight champion could be seriously injured if he stayed around for more.  So the referee wisely  halted the one-sided match after Joppy went down twice.  At that point it was obvious that the only thing he could land was his butt on the canvas.  The loss takes nothing away from Joppy. 

The early few rounds proved he had come to fight and that he had some expectation of winning.  He was simply out-gunned by a younger, faster fighter.   And had he chosen, after discovering he had little hope of beating Bute, he could have bowed out of the fight.  But he didn’t.  Lasting ten rounds against the hard-punching champion is a tribute to William Joppy’s courage. As for Bute, his future is looking good.