Butterbean Cruises In Tv Finale The 335-pound Alabama Brawler Needed Less Than A Round To Dispose Of Tim Pollard.

Posted: August 26, 1998

After 17 years, the USA Network's Tuesday Night Fights ended with a bang last night at the Blue Horizon before a standing-room-only crowd of about 1,350 fans.

The noise heard round the gritty room came from a chopping overhand right to the face of Tim Pollard, a 226-pound sacrificial lamb for the well-known Butterbean, a 335-pound brawler from Jasper, Ala., who has been dubbed the ``King of the Four-Rounders.''

Also known as Eric Esch, Butterbean (38-1-1, with 29 knockouts) didn't need four rounds for Pollard (6-5-2, five KOs), who was down and out at the 1-minute, 37-second mark of the first round.

``I just wanted to feel him out a little,'' said Butterbean, who hadn't fought for five months while recovering from arm surgery. ``It took me a little time to get my confidence.''

This was the final bout on Tuesday Night Fights, which became television's longest-running and highest-rated weekly boxing show. The network will replace it with programming aimed at younger viewers.

``I'm sorry to see it go, and it's a shame for boxing,'' said Russell Peltz, the local boxing historian whose promotions turned the Blue Horizon into one of the world's best-known boxing venues.

A four-round rematch between Chucky T., a popular Philadelphia lightweight, and Shawn Powell of Schenectady, N.Y., was the top undercard bout.

It ended with a majority decision for the hometown fighter.

On April 28, Chucky T. beat Powell on a technical knockout when the referee stepped between the two boxers in the last round of a close match scheduled to go eight rounds.

There was much controversy because, though Powell had gone down along the ropes after taking a series of punches, he appeared able to continue.

In the first fight on last night's card, Eddie Ross of Philadelphia won a unanimous six-round decision over Bernice Barber of Virginia Beach, Va., in the middleweight division.

And when Bryant Brannon of Trenton knocked down Scott Lopeck of Inwood, N.Y., three times in the third round of a super-middleweight bout scheduled to go six rounds, Brannon was declared the winner with 23 seconds left in the round.

Note. The ceremonial 10 bells were counted down in honor of Bob Montgomery, a 1940s world lightweight champion and International Boxing Hall of Famer from Philadelphia who died yesterday.

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