NOVEMBER 11,  2007

Underdog Berry Butler wants to prove himself against the best and that includes Antonio Tarver!
November 11, 2007
by Brian Kennedy

You know in your heart when you have lost a fight. Berry Butler has tasted defeat before, but he never could have foreseen the raw deal he received in Germany this past July 7th. Butler still feels good about his performance against 19 year old Albanian poster boy, Haxhi Krasniqi and he is no longer in awe or intimidated by the spotlight after fighting in front of a sold out crowd of over 20,000. The fight took place in Cologne, Germany on the under card of Wladimir Klitschko's dominating performance against Lamon Brewster in their rematch.

It has been a busy year for the well traveled Butler. Much of that time spent helping others prepare for what he believes is his rightful place. After tough sparring sessions with Lucien Bute, Adrian Diaconu and Henry Maske along with three solid wins, the positive steps towards a title shot were overshadowed by the criminal decision loss to Germany's Krasniqi.

Once again boxing politics reared it's ugly head as the well planned and obvious robbery of Butler by three incompatent judges and a predictably biased referee stole a clear and concise victory from Butler's grasp. This was not the same as Peter Manfredo Jr. crying foul against his early stoppage loss to Joe Calzaghe in Cardiff, Wales. This was indeed a solid offensive and aggressive six round performance that was completely ignored in favor of the home fighter.

With such disturbing antics as Krasniqi's corner yelling for a disqualification after one accidental low blow from Butler and the subsequent point being taken away without so much as a single warning. Not only was he fighting Haxhi Krasniqi, he was up against the judges, the referee and the influential German and Albanian boxing powers-that-be to have their man get the nod.

Butler was left without a mark on him while Krasniqi was bleeding from the mouth and nose and was reeling from the effects of a vicious steady body attack. At the first taste of Butler's aggressive assault, Krasniqi ran and on occasion landed eye-catching looping shots that had little or no effect on Butler and his constant pressure and much heavier strategic power shots.

This is a case of Butler's hard earned reputation being used by Krasniqi's handlers to boost his inflated and overrated career. Krasniqi's own trainer and matchmaker for this match, Roland Suttner gave his pupil only one round and the HBO crew in attendance for the Klitschko/Brewster rematch could only look over at a stunned Butler and shake their heads at yet another bad decision going against an American fighter on foreign soil.

Because this fight was not shown on television in the United States and was only a six rounder it is likely that it will be swept under the rug and help launch Krasniqi to a higher ranking and improve his position in boxing. All at the expense of Butler who made the trip to Germany alone and did not have his longtime trainer with him for this fight.

But where does all of this leave the disappointed Butler? There is a rematch clause in the contract and the Krasniqi camp is required to live up to that contract within six months. After his clear victory, Butler expects Krasniqi's handlers to attempt to pay their way out of a rematch.

While Butler is pursuing the rematch, he is also looking for opportunities here in the United States. Antonio Tarver (currently looking for an opponent for his December 1st fight on Showtime), Tavoris Cloud, comebacking former champ Byron Mitchell, Rico Hoye, journeyman Demetrius Davis, Chris Henry and Deandre Abron have all been mentioned as opponents.

What makes a rematch with Tarver so appealing is that Butler has become a better fighter while Tarver has slipped noticably. Butler has become a "real" contender and one of the most avoided fighters in his division or any division for that matter. Let's not forget the little known fact that Tarver versus Berry Butler in 1997 was a tough fight and that Butler had Tarver hurt in their 6 rounder.

The list of fighters that have turned down Butler's challenge include current champions Chad Dawson and Zsolt Erdei , several top rated veterans and the many young prospects that have been sheltered from hard combat in the ring.

Lennox Lewis, Buddy McGirt, Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant all witnessed Butler's dominant performance in Cologne, but they can't change the decision. No one expects the German officials to care about the future of an older veteran American fighter. But Butler's quest will continue until he says that it is over...

Butler knows that if he doesn't get the chance to avenge the loss to Krasniqi that he needs a solid win to erase the bad taste of the injustice that took place on that July night in Germany. Boxing's insiders know that the fight with Krasniqi was a stacked deck against the free agent Butler. Needless to say the loss affected Butler's hard fought ranking in the WBC and on

Currently shopping for a promotional contract that will give him the kind of support he needs to make a run at the world title, the low key Butler is more determined than ever to set the record straight. He wants nothing more than to avenge the only loss in his last 12 fights and is confident that victory will be achieved by knockout in an 8 round rematch.

Once again Berry Butler, the hard working prize fighter from Greenville, South Carolina has to dust himself off and come back from adversity. Let's hope that if he gets the rematch, he will not leave it up to the judges this time out.





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