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Lionel Butler (born July 25, 1967) is an American former professional boxer. He is perhaps best known for his 1995 bout with Lennox Lewis.

Professional career

Butler made his professional debut on February 24, 1989 in a losing effort to future contender Phil Jackson. In his second fight, Butler was knocked out in the second round by the debuting future Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Riddick Bowe on March 6 of that year. The following month, Butler would pick up his first victory against Michael Carroll. Butler struggled during the early portion of his career, going 6–10–1 in his first 17 fights, however, Butler's fortune would change in 1991, as he racked up three consecutive first-round knockouts during that year and followed with 13 more knockout victories from 1992 to 1994 (one victory was later changed to a no-contest after Butler failed a drug test after the fight). During his 16-fight undefeated streak, Butler scored victories over such fighters as former WBA heavyweight champions Tony Tubbs (whom Butler dispatched in less than one round)[1] and James "Bonecrusher" Smith, while also winning both the IBO and California heavyweight title on February 23, 1993 with a victory over Tony Willis. Butler's success was halted in 1993 when a positive test for marijuana earned Butler a six-month suspension and he was subsequently stripped of both heavyweight titles as a result.[2] Butler rebounded and in 1995, now ranked the number two heavyweight by WBC would get his first high profile match, as he was matched up against Lennox Lewis, who had recently lost his title to Oliver McCall, in a "eliminator" bout with the winner earning the right to fight for the WBC heavyweight championship. Butler, however, came into the fight grossly out-of-shape at 261 pounds and was thoroughly outboxed by Lewis, who knocked Butler out in the fifth round. Following his loss to Lewis, Butler was never quite able to reach the level of success he had obtained from 1991 to 1994. Butler would win the World Boxing Federation (WBF) heavyweight title in January 23, 1997 after defeating Marcos Gonzalez by first round knockout,[3] but would lose to up-and-coming heavyweights Chris Byrd and Michael Grant. In 1998, Butler would challenge the undefeated Danish boxer Brian Nielsen for the IBO heavyweight title, but was knocked out in the first round. Butler would then take a three-year hiatus from boxing before returning in January 2002. Butler would win the first four fights of his comeback before meeting the once highly regarded knockout artist Andre Purlette, who promptly knocked out Butler in the second round. Butler would again leave boxing after the Purlette fight, but would launch one more comeback in 2009. He would go 1–2 in three fights between 2009 and 2010 before retiring for good following a loss to Damian Wills on June 12, 2010.[4]

Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
51 fights 32 wins 17 losses
By knockout 25 8
By decision 6 6
By disqualification 1 3
Draws 1
No contests 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
51 Loss 32–17–1 (1) United States Damian Wills UD 10 12 Jun 2010 United States Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, California
50 Loss 32–16–1 (1) Russia Andrey Fedosov KO 2 (8), 2:37 8 Jan 2010 United States Civic Auditorium, Glendale, California
49 Win 32–15–1 (1) Cameroon Fred Kassi SD 6 10 Sep 2009 United States San Manuel Indian Casino, Highland, California
48 Loss 31–15–1 (1) Guyana Andre Purlette TKO 2 (10), 1:53 9 Sep 2003 United States Level Nightclub, Miami, Florida
47 Win 31–14–1 (1) United States Dan Ward TKO 3 (6) 30 Aug 2003 United States Sam's Town Casino, Tunica, Mississippi
46 Win 30–14–1 (1) United States John Dixon KO 2 (6), 1:27 18 Jul 2003 United States Argosy Casino Atrium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
45 Win 29–14–1 (1) United States Willie Driver KO 3 (6) 2 Feb 2002 United States Grand Casino, Gulfport, Mississippi
44 Win 28–14–1 (1) United States Craig Brinson UD 4 23 Jan 2002 United States Caesars Indiana, Bridgeport, Indiana
43 Loss 27–14–1 (1) Denmark Brian Nielsen KO 1 (12), 2:37 6 Nov 1998 Denmark K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen For IBO heavyweight title
42 Win 27–13–1 (1) United States Cleveland Woods TKO 9 (10), 2:09 28 Oct 1997 United States Orleans Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
41 Loss 26–13–1 (1) United States Michael Grant DQ 4 (10), 0:38 19 Apr 1997 United States Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas, Nevada Butler deducted points for a headbutt in 2nd, a low blow
in 3rd, then DQ'd for another low blow in 4th.
40 Win 26–12–1 (1) Mexico Marcos Gonzalez KO 1 (12), 2:36 23 Jan 1997 United States Country Club, Reseda, California Won vacant WBF Heavyweight title
39 Win 25–12–1 (1) United States Bomani Parker KO 1 (10), 3:00 21 Nov 1996 United States Country Club, Reseda, California
38 Win 24–12–1 (1) Mexico Salvador Maciel TKO 1 (10), 0:55 17 Oct 1996 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
37 Loss 23–12–1 (1) United States Chris Byrd TKO 8 (10), 0:57 23 Apr, 1996 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan
36 Win 23–11–1 (1) Mexico Mauricio Villegas TKO 2 (10), 2:11 18 Mar 1996 United States County Coliseum, El Paso, Texas
35 Loss 22–11–1 (1) United Kingdom Lennox Lewis TKO 5 (12), 2:55 13 May 1995 United States ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California WBC heavyweight title eliminator
34 Win 22–10–1 (1) United States James Flowers TKO 1 (10), 1:53 1 Mar 1995 United States Memorial Auditorium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
33 NC 21–10–1 (1) United States Eric Curry TKO 3 (10), 3:00 26 Apr 1994 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan Originally a TKO 3 win for Butler, changed to a NC
as Butler tested positive for an illegal substance
32 Win 21–10–1 United States Jerry Jones RTD 1 (10), 3:00 8 Feb 1994 United States Country Club, Reseda, California Jones was unable to continue after round one due
to a severe cut above the right eye
31 Win 20–10–1 United States James Smith TKO 3 (10), 2:19 18 Jan 1994 United States Civic Auditorium, Omaha, Nebraska
30 Win 19–10–1 United States Lawrence Carter TKO 1 (10) 2:39 16 Nov, 1993 United States Casino Magic, Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi
29 Win 18–10–1 United States Tim Bullock TKO 1 (?) 27 May 1993 United States Biloxi, Mississippi
28 Win 17–10–1 United States Jesse Shelby TKO 4 (?) 4 May 1993 United States McNichols Sports Arena, Denver, Colorado
27 Win 16–10–1 United States Craig Payne RTD 7 (10), 3:00 26 Mar 1993 United States Country Club, Reseda, California The bout was halted after round 7 because of an injury
to Payne's eye
26 Win 15–10–1 United States Tony Willis TKO 5 (10), 2:15 23 Feb 1993 United States Country Club, Reseda, California Won vacant IBO Heavyweight title
25 Win 14–10–1 United States John Morton TKO 5 (10), 2:43 4 Nov 1992 United States Country Club, Reseda, California
24 Win 13–10–1 United States Tony Tubbs KO 1 (10), 3:00 18 Aug 1992 United States Bayfront Auditorium, Pensacola, Florida
23 Win 12–10–1 United States David Dixon DQ 4 (?) 11 May 1992 United States Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California Dixon was disqualified for repeatedly hitting low
22 Win 11–10–1 Mexico Juan Ramon Perez KO 1 (?) 31 Mar 1992 United States Country Club, Reseda, California
21 Win 10–10–1 United States Sam Adkins TKO 5 (?) 25 Feb 1992 United States Country Club, Reseda, California
20 Win 9–10–1 United States Terry Verners KO 1 (6) 17 Dec 1991 United States Country Club, Reseda, California
19 Win 8–10–1 United States Dominic Parker KO 1 (6) 26 Nov 1991 United States Country Club, Reseda, California
18 Win 7–10–1 United States Don Askew KO 1 (?) 29 Oct 1991 United States Country Club, Reseda, California
17 Loss 6–10–1 United States Kevin Ford SD 8 29 Apr 1991 United States Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California
16 Win 6–9–1 United States James Ruffin KO 1 (?), 0:40 5 Feb 1991 United States Longhorn Club, Vinton, Louisiana
15 Loss 5–9–1 United States Terry Davis DQ 2 (?) 1 Feb 1991 United States Richmond, California
14 Loss 5–8–1 United States Terry Davis DQ 5 (?) 14 Dec 1990 United States Brownsville, Texas
13 Loss 5–7–1 United States Oliver McCall SD 10 16 Jul 1990 United States Central Plaza Hotel, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
12 Draw 5–6–1 United States Sean McClain TD 1 (6), 1:07 10 May 1990 United States Harrah's Tahoe, Lake Tahoe, Nevada Originally announced as a disqualification win for McClain
due to repeated low blows
11 Win 5–6 Soviet Union Vyacheslav Yakovlev MD 6 12 Apr 1990 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
10 Loss 4–6 Australia Craig Petersen UD 6 24 Mar 1990 United States Fairgrounds Arena, Mobile, Alabama
9 Win 4–5 United States Tim Adams PTS 4 5 Mar 1990 United States Fairgrounds Arena, Mobile, Alabama
8 Loss 3–5 United States Sammy Speech UD 6 16 Feb 1990 United States Clarion Hotel Ballroom, St Louis, Missouri
7 Win 3–4 United States Jerry Goff TKO 2 (4) 25 Jan 1990 United States Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana
6 Win 2–4 United States Troy Jefferson UD 4 11 Jan 1990 United States New Orleans, Louisiana
5 Loss 1–4 United States James Pritchard TKO 6 9 Dec 1989 United States Biloxi, Mississippi
4 Loss 1–3 United States Cleveland Woods TKO 2 (4), 1:48 1 Aug 1989 United States Showboat Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
3 Win 1–2 United States Michael Carroll UD 6 1 Apr 1989 United States Biloxi, Mississippi
2 Loss 0–2 United States Riddick Bowe TKO 2 (4), 1:55 6 Mar 1989 United States Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada
1 Loss 0–1 United States Phil Jackson PTS 4 24 Feb 1989 United States Biloxi, Mississippi Professional debut

References

  1. ^ First Resurgent Butler to Face Morton at Country Club, L.A. Times article, 1992-11-04, Retrieved on 2014-02-16
  2. ^ Commission Rules Butler Must Take Tests Before Bouts, L.A. Times article, 1993-08-21, Retrieved on 2014-02-16
  3. ^ Butler Belts Out a Quick Victory and Claims Title, L.A. Times article, 1997-01-24, Retrieved on 2014-02-16
  4. ^ http://boxrec.com/boxer/1641
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Pinklon Thomas
IBO Heavyweight Champion
23 February 1993 – March 1993
Stripped
Succeeded by
Danell Nicholson
Preceded by
Adílson Rodrigues
WBF Heavyweight Champion
23 January 1997 – 1997
Stripped
Succeeded by
Bert Cooper