At 5 foot 10 inches and 417 pounds, Eric “Butterbean” Esch lived up to every ounce of his nickname during his heavyweight boxing career. Despite his massive size, he was surprisingly agile and could use his weight to his advantage in the boxing ring.
Mike Tyson and Butterbean never fought each other during the men’s boxing careers. However, it was always Butterbean’s “dream fight” to have an opportunity to fight against Mike Tyson.
Known for his knockouts in the ring, you can see more of Butterbean’s highlights in the video below, using the YouTube link.
Butterbean is Bad to the Bone
While both fighters were well known in their respective worlds, they could not be more different as fighters.
Mike Tyson grew up in the slums of Brooklyn, a place where he had seemingly no choice but to engage in petty crime and street brawls in order to survive. When he was discovered by famous personal boxing trainer Cus D’Amato at age 12, his life changed forever and his boxing career was built for success.
On the other hand, it seems that Eric “Butterbean” Esch stumbled upon his boxing career by accident. Esch was a 420 pound man, working in a mobile home factory, when his friends at work dared him to sign up for a Toughman competition.
Because he was too heavy, he had three weeks to lose 20 pounds before he could enter the small town competition. In order to do so, he ate only chicken and butterbeans–explaining his nickname that has become his trademark in the boxing world.
Butterbean did not win his first fight, but he knew he had found a new hobby of fighting. For him, it was a way to fight people without getting in any legal trouble, so he was all about it.
Butterbean once said, after winning his first title, that he “mainly kept fighting because [he] could beat people up and not go to jail, and that was pretty cool.”
After establishing a winning record of 67-4, with 4 knockouts, in Toughman competitions, Butterbean signed a professional deal. Because of his seemingly comical fighting style, he always felt the need to prove himself as a boxer.
With something to prove, he fought former heavyweight champion, Larry Holmes, who was past his prime at age 52. He lost the fight, but believes Tyson would have been his next fight if he would have won.
It is unlikely that the pair would have ever fought, due to the differences in their boxing craft and dedication to the sport. Still, it would have been quite the fight.
Unlike Mike Tyson, Butterbean never used strategy in the boxing ring. He found his success solely by his dominating, massive presence.
You can see this recent Instagram post of Butterbean sending well wishes to Mike Tyson, using the link below.
A Virtual Fight
Tyson and Butterbean might not have had the chance to fight in person, but they recently met their match in the virtual WBSS Heavyweight Tournament at the end of March 2020.
Butterbean may have had a chance to prove himself in the ring against Mike Tyson, but his skills were no match for Tyson’s intense nature. Tyson knocked Butterbean out in two rounds.
Tyson moved on as the number 2 seed, and progressed to the semi-finals.
As to who would win in an in-person fight, we may never know.