Larry Holmes vs Eric (Butterbean) Esch

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Larry Holmes vs Eric (Butterbean) Esch
Fan Rating: 
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3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Date: 
Saturday, July 27, 2002
Location: 
Scope Arena, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Rounds Scheduled: 
10
Contracted Weight: 
Unlimited
Referee: 
Chris Wollesen

Official Judging
Vaughn LaPrade 97 - 92
Phil Kornberg 98 - 91
Peggy McCuen 96 - 93

More:



NORFOLK, Va. (AP) When Larry Holmes entered the ring, the stereo boomed "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" and the crowd roared its approval. It was just like old times for Holmes.

But it didn't take long for the 52-year-old Holmes to show his age against Eric "Butterbean" Esch on Saturday night.

When Holmes danced in his corner during introductions, his flabby midsection jiggled. When he fired off his once-lethal left jab, his opponent shook it off as if his nose itched.

And when he sat on the stool in his corner between rounds, he panted like a dog in afternoon heat, his stomach jutting out, the sweat pouring off his brow.

Yet, there was no stopping the former champion.

He won a unanimous decision over Esch in a 10-round sideshow that pitted a graying grandfather against a blubbery, baldheaded brawler who had never fought more than four rounds.

If boxing had a senior tour, Holmes would be a champion again.

But it doesn't, so the proud, paunchy former heavyweight will just have to keep beating up on has-beens, never-weres and oddities like Esch, a 334-pound former Toughman champion who's made a name for himself in boxing as "the king of the four-rounder."

It was the first fight for Holmes in nearly two years - since he beat 49-year-old Mike Weaver. His rust was surpassed only by his slow feet, wooden gait and timid approach to the wild-swinging Esch.

He opened the fight with 10 consecutive jabs, but none did any damage. Both fighters seemed afraid of each other: Esch refusing to attack until Holmes did, and Holmes circling while he gathered the energy to punch again.

By the end of the round, the crowd of 7,097 at Norfolk Scope arena was booing the lack of action. The boos continued through the fifth round.

Neither fighter was ever in trouble. By the sixth round, Esch was bleeding from a cut over his left eye, but it wasn't serious.

In the 10th, a haymaker by Esch knocked Holmes backward and he appeared to trip, falling into the ropes in the corner. Referee Chris Wollesen gave him a standing eight-count, though, and he finished strong.




Fan Cards: Larry Holmes vs Eric (Butterbean) Esch


scorecard by WHAT_IS_THE_DEFAULT_PASSWORD
Round
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Total
LARRY HOLMES
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9
10
8
97
ERIC ESCH
10
9
9
9
9
9
9
10
9
10
93


Comments

what_is_the_default_password's picture

Legendary Larry Holmes concludes his storied career by facing off a legend of a different kind in Eric Esch the Butterbean.

Holmes was wary of Butterbean's haymakers, Butterbean was wary of Holmes' long jab. With a combined 588 pounds on the canvas, it was mostly a waiting game.

Action began on pick up in the later rounds, as Butterbean pressed more aggressively and Holmes became more willing to use his right hand.

Holmes was a 52-year old man, undoubtedly a shadow of his former self. However, while his youth left him his boxing skills did not. Holmes made good use of his legendary jab, pecking Butterbean from a distance. The jabs might be mosquito bites to the former Toughman, but mosquito bites are still bites. As Holmes stuck out his left in the jabs he would sometimes use the palm or the wrist of his extended left hand to stiff arm Butterbean, preventing Butterbean from charging in with haymakers. That was boxing skill, elementary but serviceable even at age 52.

Butterbean, to his credit, fought well. For someone who previously only fought 4 rounds and was largely regarded as a freak-show-esqe novelty, he performed decently in his first 10-rounder. He was responsible for making this fight entertaining, and although in most part of the rounds he was eating Holmes' jab he always remained dangerous and closed in on Holmes on quite a few occasions. Holmes' experience as a pro-boxer helped him in tying Butterbean up to neutralise incoming haymakers when Butterbean closed the distance. Eventually in the last round Butterbean did land a huge haymaker, which would have floored the legendary former Heavyweight champion had in not been for the ropes.

“He's more than a four-round fighter, he did not sit down once tonight. He's big, he's heavy. He doesn't have all the skills, but he has the heart to fight 10 rounds.”
-Larry Holmes