Monday, March 5, 2007

Big Time Boxing Comes to Worcester: Butterbean Takes on Joe Siciliano

By Geno McGahee

This Friday, the “King of the 4 Rounders,” Butterbean, 76-7-4, 57 KO’s, comes to Worcester, Massachusetts, to face the Central Massachusetts Heavyweight Champion, Joe Siciliano, 4-3, 2 KO’s, in a four round battle. This bout makes all the sense in the world as two bulbous novelty acts go head to head in a bout that will surely sell out the Palladium, where it will be held. Now, for you unification buffs, I don’t believe that this will be a King of the 4 Rounder Championship/Central Massachusetts Heavyweight Championship unification bout, but what we can say is that the winner of this bout will be the undisputed best rotund heavyweight that is fighting four round matches only.

In one corner, we have Butterbean, a legitimate tough guy that can punch with both hands, and brings a lot of weight into that ring, weighing in recently at 380 pounds. That is a lot of Bean. At 5’11 ½,” he weighs more than our 7 foot WBA Heavyweight Champion, Nikolay Valuev, but he uses his weight to his advantage and as I have said, he is a tough guy. He has never beaten a good heavyweight, but he has knocked out Peter McNeeley in one round and has also stopped WWE Wrestler Bart Gunn in one round as well. He went the distance with an ancient Larry Holmes in a good effort and does rather well in MMA competitions.

In the late 1990s, Butterbean was the biggest thing (literally) since sliced bread when it comes to boxing. His boxing exploits would be on display, typically as an extra on a Pay Per View, and his popularity would grow by epic proportions. He barreled through hand selected opposition, usually winning in explosive fashion and always hinting afterward that he would eventually graduate to longer bouts, where he would test his skills against a legitimate foe. With a KO loss to Mitchell Rose, a fighter that had won only 1 out of his 9 outings going in, his statements of moving up had to be taken with a grain of salt. There was too much money to be made with the 4 round contests anyway. Most amount of money and least risk.

The novelty wore off and Bean faded away, but re-invented himself and moved on to MMA and also appeared in the movie “Jackass,” where he won the Department Store Boxing Championship with a KO of Johnny Knoxville. His appearances in the Mixed Martial Arts have been profitable, especially in Japan, where they seem to like heavyset men, such as pro-wrester, Van Vader, and Sumo Wrestlers. Butterbean has probably had over 200 fights in his life when you combine his tough man stint, his boxing career, his MMA bouts, and his Department Store Championship bouts. He is a real fighter. He is not an elite fighter, but he can actually fight very well.

Joe Siciliano, a 49-year-old, 300+ fighter, police detective on the Leominster Police Force has become quite the local novelty in the New England area. He has held the Central Massachusetts Heavyweight Title for seven years, but has only defended it once. Apparently the Central Mass Sanctioning body has strict guidelines: Title must be defended once every ten years.

The chances of Siciliano, rated 610th by, beating Butterbean are slim and I hesitate to use the word “slim” when referring to this bout. These are two huge guys and the end result will not be pretty. Although this is a horrible mismatch, this is a fight that seems to be destined. For the longest time, Siciliano was referred to as Mass’s Butterbean, and now he is facing the king of all the Butterbeans, because I’m assuming that every state has one, in a bout that will not go over 1 minute, let alone 1 round. As nice a guy that Siciliano is, and as much courage that he does have, he does not know how to fight. He flails his punches, lunging forward without much affect. Butterbean can punch very well and will probably win this one when he lands his first punch.

As a New England resident, I will be sitting there hoping against hope that our hometown boy comes through with a victory. I want to be able to tell the world that Massachusetts has the best four round, heavyset, Central Massachusetts Heavyweight Champion of all time, but it is unlikely. If Peter McNeeley starches you in 25 seconds, your prospects against the Bean are not good.

In other action, Brandon Esch (Butterbean, JR.), will be making his pro debut against Shawn McClean another newbie in a four round bout. Welterweight Luis Viramontes, making his pro debut will be facing another 0-0-0 fighter, Olade Thomas. There are five scheduled bouts to this interesting card, and I expect the 2500 capacity palladium to be jam-packed with fight fans or people that like to see a large guy get plowed over in quick fashion. Jimbo Isperduli, the Manager of Siciliano and the Promoter of the event, should be given some credit for putting this card together. It should be a fun night in Worcester.


1 comment:

Kristi said...

I'm going to be working at this tonight. I've never been to a boxing match in New England, not that I'm a big boxing fan (I watch it sometimes on tv), but I just wanted to say thanks for making this post.... now I'll have somewhat of an idea of what's going on.

And I'll definitly be cheering for the home team. :)