Raphael Butler sealed a shot at highly ranked contender “Fast” Eddie Chambers by TKOing journeyman Otis Tisdale in the fourth round Saturday night. Action was said to be slow for the first three, picking up in the fourth when Tisdale tried to to go toe-to-toe with Butler and consequently got the worst of the exchange. Butler ripped Tisdale against the ropes until referee Mark Nelson stopped the fight.
By contrast, Joey Abell suffered a career setback when he was stopped by Andrew Greeley in a shocker. Abell was looking good and in control, and decided to go for the kill. Abell landed some good punches but then got caught. A Greeley right put Abell down and through the ropes. Abell got up in time but was unable to adequately defend himself, taking a couple more power shots after the knockdown. Mark Nelson stopped the fight with two seconds left in the fourth. There is bound to be criticism of Nelson for stopping this one as he did, but any criticism is unfair. Nelson is an excellent ref, probably the best in Minnesota. And one cannot expect a referee to be watching the clock when a fighter is in trouble.
While Butler (now 31-4) trains for a fight with Chambers in the Cayman Islands June 20, Abell (now 20-2) will most likely be looking at some more bouts in Philadelphia as he tries to improve his ranking and reputation following this difficult loss. Abell may take some consolation in the example of the great Harry Greb, a old-time boxer who had some difficult losses (some awful beatings, in fact) early in his career but learned from them, eventually becoming one of the all-time greats and retiring with a career record of 260-21.