Raphael Butler’s opponent next Saturday night at Graham Arena in Rochester, Otis Tisdale, is a prototypical journeyman heavyweight.
Tisdale turned pro with a second-round knockout of an unknown named Collester Alston in March of 1996. After compiling a mediocre 4-4 record in his first eight professional bouts, Tisdale began to find himself in the winter of ’98-’99, beginning a 7-0-1 streak that saw him rising in the worldwide rankings. He dropped two straight in 2000, then began another hot streak in which he compiled a 9-0 record. Except that the second “hot streak” wasn’t quite as hot as it appears, considering that it includes one win against Kenneth Bentley, two wins against Jimmy “Raggedy Mouth” Garrett, and three against Frankie Hines; three heavyweights whose combined records at retirement were 29-243-1. Nevertheless the 9-0 streak also included wins against 21-5-1 Craig Tomlinson and 16-1 Chester Hughes. This was enough to boost Tisdale to the big leagues, fighting contenders and title holders like Rob Calloway, Corrie Sanders, Dominick Guinn, Michael Moorer, Malik Scott, Faruq Saleem, Nikolay Valuev, Alonzo Butler, and Bruce Seldon – all of whom beat Tisdale. In fact, after sustaining so many losses in a relatively short period, Tisdale was in danger of falling off the gravy train, until he won three straight against limited opposition in 2006 and early 2007.
In his last bout, against John Ruiz in October of 2007, Tisdale was dropped twice in the first and once in the second on his way to being TKO’d in the second round. It isn’t a good reflection on Tisdale that he made Ruiz look good in that one. Ruiz isn’t exactly “Mister Excitement,” if you know what I mean.
What can I tell you about Tisdale? Well, he’s a big hulking dude, but he appears soft to the body. Some observers think he quit against Seldon, and he’s been kayoed in the first or second round at least six times in his career.
The Fistic Mystic Says: Nothing is guaranteed; life is full of surprises. And it’ll be a stinking big surprise if Butler loses to Tisdale on Saturday.