MONTREAL (AP) - Former IBF champion Lucian Bute rebounded from his first defeat by outlasting Denis Grachev in a close bout for the minor NABF light heavyweight title on Saturday night.
Bute, of Canada, won a unanimous decision and improved to 31-1 in his first fight since losing his super-middleweight title to Carl Froch in May. Grachev, of Russia, fell to 12-1-1 despite landing more punches overall.
The ringside judges all favored Bute in their final scores: 115-113, 116-112 and 118-112.
Bute took advantage of a hometown crowd. An announced attendance of 10,122 in the Bell Centre chanted the 32-year-old’s name throughout the fight.
Bute fought cautiously for 11 rounds, looking to avoid direct hits while taking single shots at Grachev. In the 12th, though, he dominated.