Butterbean's Boxing Career Was Ended In The Most Devastating Fashion
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Eric ‘Butterbean’ Esch is a cult hero of the boxing game, his larger-than-life persona and penchant for the spectacular knockout drawing in crowds during his career.
Between 1994 and 2002, he competed in the World Toughman Championships, a four-round league that gave amateurs the chance to compete against one another.
And he really made a name for himself, boasting an impressive record of 56-5, with 36 victories coming by KO, and claiming the heavyweight title five times.
Pretty soon, he became known as the 'King of the Four Rounders', with his fights being shown on TV.
Speaking at the time, Butterbean said: "It took off pretty quick, my second pro fight was on national TV – it don't happen like that, normally you get 15, 20 fights and then you get a TV fight unless you’re very fortunate.
"Tyson, his second pro fight wasn’t on TV. He probably had five or six, seven fights before he got on TV. Me, my second pro fight was televised, it was on a Jed Hearns undercard. Then a couple more fights and I’m on TV again, and every fight since then was televised.
"It just don't happen like that. I've probably had more televised fights than any world champion out there."
However, as the years rolled on, it became apparent that perhaps the icon's career was taking its toll.
In 2001, he was defeated by Billy Zumbrun, his first loss in six years.
This was then quickly followed by a few more wins, in spectacular fashion, a draw, and five defeats in the ring.
In 2007, he decided to hang up his gloves, taking the victory in the second round against Joe Siciliano in his final bout.
However, he returned to the ring a couple of years later, suffering a string of losses.
His final bout came in Australia in 2013, when he fought underdog Kirk Lawton, who, just five years younger than him, only had two fights to his name, consisting of one win and one defeat.
However, it ended in tears after Butterbean was forced to retire after the second round due to a shoulder injury, handing Lawton the victory.
But almost a decade on from that sad end, Butterbean has revealed that he's back in shape and ready to return to the ring.
And he's already calling out a big name. Have a look below:
The 55-year-old has been working with former WWE star Diamond Dallas Page, who has worked with retired athletes in the past to help them deal with post-retirement pain and get them healthy.
Feeling healthy enough to put the gloves back on, Butterbean has called out none other than Jake Paul.
He said: “I’m working with DDP to get up walking and running around again and I’m feeling the best shape I ever have.
"I’m at fight weight. You’ll have to listen to my podcast coming up to find exactly how much weight I have lost, but I haven’t weighed this in over 20 years so that’ll give you an idea.
"The big announcement is I’m gonna fight one last fight. It’s gonna be one year from now. Jake Paul, if you’re ready, I’m here for you my friend. Let’s get it on, me and you Jake Paul.
"I bet it would be an awesome fight. After you said what you said about me in the magazine, I’m ready to fight you. Are you ready? I don’t think so."