Boxing figures chime in on how they expect Friday night’s heavyweight battle to go down:
Todd Bechthold: First big punch probably wins. It may come down to boxing skill, because both guys have power.
Willshaun Boxley: I think that Joey’s definitely going to win for sure, and I think it’s going to be by knockout.
Jamaal Marcc Bradley (amateur fighter): Joey Abell by KO in round 4
Mike Dempsey (boxer and trainer): Joe by TKO in 7
Gary Eyer (pro fighter): I’ve never seen Abell fight and I’ve only seen Butler once, so I say whoever comes in lighter at the weigh-ins will win.
Sean Hickman (coach): The only prediction I’d like to make is that I believe someone is going to get kayoed if both of these guys want it as much as the other, which they should at this point in their careers. They both have great athletic ability, knockout power, and are in desperate need to make a statement.
Graham Houston (writer): Abell TKO8…I think he might have better staying power than Butler.
Andy Kolle (MN middleweight champ): I am going to go with Abell just because I think his conditioning will carry him through the initial onslaught and bring him to victory. No disrespect to Raph because he is an excellent fighter and he could very well prove me wrong!
Brett Mauren (writer): I say Butler comes out and shocks Abell by knocking him down in the first, but gasses out fast and Abell stops stops him in the 4th. It’s gonna be a slugfest.
Cory Rapacz (matchmaker): Abell TKO3
Andrew Studer-Ginsburg (gadfly): I like Butler by decision. Butler looks to be in good shape. I think he’ll outbox [Abell] late.
Caleb Truax (pro fighter): Joey KO 3rd round.
The Fistic Mystic says: Butler may be the more gifted all-around boxer, but I think that Abell has real world-class power. Everything else being nearly equal, power is going to be the deciding factor in this fight. Abell by KO.