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Friday, 27 April, 2001, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Butterbean: boxing's nemesis?
Eric Esch, otherwise known as Butterbean, is to fight at the Wembley Conference Centre.
America laps up the 25 stone factory worker turned boxing champion, but many British fight enthusiasts feel he is turning boxing into a freak show.
We asked you: Is Butterbean debasing the noble art? Or are you in on the joke?
Ten years ago a 31 stone factory worker from Alabama entered Toughman, a televised street fighting competition - and won.
Now down to a svelte 25 stone thanks largely to a butterbean diet, Eric Esch has made an estimated $1m from professional boxing.
Stateside he's a comic hero. In Britain, one newspaper labelled him The Raging Blanchmange.
The British press fear Butterbean could be the clown that completes the boxing circus.
We wanted your opinions of Butterbean. Is reducing boxing to farce? Or should he be viewed as an entirely separate comic turn?
Scroll down to view your responses.
I can name few former and current heavyweight champions Butterbean can beat over four rounds.
If he can fight within the rules, that's all that matters. Who cares If physically he looks like a bodybuilder or a tub of lard, as long as he wins his fights fair and square?
Boxing is a farce and butterbean, while a likeable character, personifies the farce.
He simply uses his weight to bully and beat the pulp out of his opponents. Very sporting, I don't think.
A sport that allows any size and shape at international level is great. Good on Butterbean for getting this far and may he continue to do well.
I watched the Lewis v Rahman fight which was enough to know that boxing is already farcically bad - at least at heavyweight.
Butterbean looks in better shape than Lennox did last week.
I've seen this guy fight and he's good. Sure, conditioning is an important factor, but it's mainly about technique. I've seen this guy K.O. fast and agile musclemen with ease.
Last week I watched a tape of Ali and Frazier, the thriller in manilla. What a joy to watch. I've seen Butterbean fight, he may not be elegant but he can fight and will give value for money and will bring some fresh air to a sport that has gone very stale. Welcome to Wembley Butterbean.
Butterbean has a solid record of 62-1-2. So he can fight. Besides, he is the Superheavyweight Champion. Its about time a Superheavyweight division is made and recognised universaly, since these days there are bigger and bigger heavyweights.
And Butterbean is the greatest of them all.
Last week I watched a tape of Ali-Frazier. What a joy to watch. I read today the daughters of these 2 great fighters are getting it on in a supposed sequel.Together with the latest Lewis and Prince Naseem farce it seems difficult to drag the sport down any further.
I've seen Butterbean fight, he may not be elegant but he can fight and will give value for money and will bring some fresh air to a sport that has gone very stale. Welcome to Wembley Butterbean.
How refreshing to see someone with little or no athletic ability making a success of himself in a physical sport (I wouldn't call darts particulatly physical.
I agree with Bruce, but can also add the names of Mike Tyson, Andrew Golota, Henry Akinwade & I'm sure there are others I can't think of at the moment
Butterbean is not that bad. Boxing is not about weight alone, it's equally about skill.
Doesn't anyone remember Foreman fighting a few years ago at the age of 45? He was 20 stone+, so in terms of weight we cannot moan. I've never seen him box but you at least expect a boxer to be able to move around. At 25 stone I doubt it....
Butterbean reducing boxing to a farce? Surely Don King did that years ago!
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