Raphael Butler Continues Comeback

Raphael Butler, who once was considered the top heavyweight prospect coming out of the 2004 National Amateur Class having easily dominated the National Golden Gloves and starting his career 10 and 0 prior to some setbacks just notched his fourth win in a row, and 12th win out of his last 13 fights by easily defeating Sam Cummings despite breaking his hand last Thursday, October 18, 2007 on a Carlos Linus promoted card. That fight can be seen on Fox Sports Detroit this Thursday, October 25, as well as Sunday, October 28..

By winning this fight, Butler became the youngest heavyweight in the world at the age of 23 to notch 29 wins. In fact, according to BoxRec there are only three other heavyweights in the world under 30 that have 29 wins. According to his manager, Stephen P. Munisteri, Butler has shown significant improvement in his last two fights in stamina and mental toughness. According to Munisteri, “Raphael Butler has always had tremendous talent. He is a huge puncher, perhaps the hardest puncher in the heavyweight division, but he has had several slip ups in the past because he has had trouble maintaining focus and stamina after the first round or so. This was never more evident than in his fight with Art Binkowski where he knocked him down three times in the first round and had a 5-point lead on two scorecards going into the 8th and final round when he was exhausted and susceptible to being knocked down. Although we think the referee made an error in stopping the fight and filed a protest, nevertheless, Butler should never have been in that position in the fight. In his previous three losses, he hurt each of his opponents significantly in the first round. In the Provo fight he dropped his opponent in the first round, and in the Clark and Gavern fights he shook his opponents badly. The problem has been once the first round was over he seemed to lose focus and in some fights, stamina. Consequently, we have told him that if he wants to get serious about being a prospect again he needed to rededicate himself both mentally and physically. Since the Binkowski fight he has had four fights and he certainly looks to have done so. In his last two fights against Sedrick Fields and Sam Cummings I really think he turned the corner. In both fights he got stronger each round and closed the eyes of both Fields and Cummings by the end of the fight. In both fights he was stronger in the last round than he was in the first round. Moreover, in the Cummings fight he broke his hand early in the fight which is now casted and still won the fight easily showing great determination. At the age of only 23 certainly he has time to get back on track as a prospect and eventual contender. He already has 34 pro fights, so it is just a matter of getting a nice winning streak and beating a fellow prospect to get back in the picture.”

Raphael Butler stated, “I learned a lot from my previous losses and believe they were due to my immaturity. Now that I am getting a little older and understand the consequences of losing and what it takes to succeed in this sport, I am confident that I can reestablish myself as a top prospect. I know there are going to be significant doubters for a long while, but I am only 23 and I have plenty of time to prove them wrong. I felt great in my last two fights. I felt like I wasn’t even getting warmed up until the fourth round and that my stamina was great. I am disappointed that I broke my hand in the last fight, but that should show some people that I have the metal to compete in this game. Fortunately, the doctors indicate that the fracture will be healed in four to six weeks and I am looking forward to fighting again at the end of December, and notching my 30th win.”

Article posted on 23.10.2007

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