Nowadays, professional boxers are mostly lean, mean fighting machines.
Even the heavyweight division features boxers who are mostly devoid of too much excess baggage, but that hasn’t always been the case.
For about a decade in the late 1990s and early noughties, Eric Esch, better known as Butterbean, was one of the most well-known fighters in the world, and his no-nonsense approach to fighting gained him many fans.
It really was no-nonsense, because he would basically charge at you right out of the gate and start swinging. Here’s a compilation of some of his fastest and nastiest knockouts:
It wasn’t just his boxing that made him famous, either, as Mel Mag reports:
In all, for about a decade, he cropped up seemingly everywhere — from Toughman to pro boxing to WWE to 2002’s Jackass: The Movie to K-1 kickboxing to Pride MMA.
“The fact of the matter is I always kept taking bookings,” Esch says.
“My size worked against me in one way, in that I was never ‘cut’ or ‘ripped’ enough to be considered a viable opponent for someone like Mike Tyson during his first comeback — my dream fight, truth be told — but it also ensured that I wasn’t going to be forgotten. Whether it was The Tonight Show, where I was a guest a bunch of times, or the WWE, where I worked a storyline against Marc Mero and then boxed Bart Gunn in a legit match at Wrestlemania, people would pick up the phone and call me. I had a memorable look and style, and I’d go anywhere for a good paycheck.”
In case you have forgotten, Butterbean gave Johnny Knoxville a solid beating in Jackass: The Movie:
Oh, and he can handle being Tasered like a champ:
Whilst he was often dismissed as something of a freak show, due to his size, he did manage to beat many quality opponents along the way.
Fans often point to his victory over another very large human, the 180-odd kilogram Zuluzinho, as evidence of his prowess:
So, with all of that behind him, what is Butterbean these days?
Physically speaking, where Esch has gone is back to his hometown of Jasper, Alabama, where he’s been retired from the fight business since 2013 and is now running a restaurant, Mr. Bean’s BBQ, where the desserts and hamburgers are lovingly crafted by the same two massive mitts that KO’d the likes of erstwhile Tyson opponent Peter McNeeley and WWE superstar Bart Gunn. My conversations with Esch, in fact, were frequently interrupted by his need to deal with the lunch and dinner crowds…
“So no, Butterbean never went anywhere. You can come to Mr. Bean’s BBQ and see me cooking there every single day of the week.”
That’s right – if you want to see the big man in action, you just have to head to Alabama.
I am sure you will leave well fed.
[imagesource: Matthias Balk / Getty Images] As of last night's statistics, 14 802 806 S...
[imagesource:here] It is nice and easy to grab a random fruit juice and down it for tha...
[imagesource:here] Life on a beautiful island known for its beaches, palm trees, and bu...
[imagesource: iStock] Many of the compliments I see being passed around on social media...
[imagesource: AP] One day in 2016, 23-year-old Christopher Rivas looked up at the clear...