|Underdog Berry Butler
wants to prove himself against the best and that includes
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
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
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 boxrec.com.
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.