Eric 'Butterbean' Esch and the 13 Fattest Boxers in Heavyweight History
Being a member of boxing’s heavyweight division doesn’t necessarily suggest that a fighter is overweight or out of shape, all it does is denote the weight class like any of the other 16 assemblages of the sweet science.
Though literally speaking, there are certain pugilists who take the phrase heavyweight to mean something different altogether.
To those in question, and with regards to their calorific intake, gluttony is a byword for obesity, of which they have no qualms relating to, whilst being abstemious is an alien concept left for fighters in the lower divisions, who themselves have to make weight or suffer the repercussions.
Initially, only the 300-pounds-or-over were allowed the chubby pass to this slideshow, however, after a change of heart (by the way, that wasn’t meant to be funny), I’ve added the scrawnier heavyweights to this list.
With that said, here’s a look at some of those overly chunky fist fighters.
N.B.: Most of this slideshow is meant to be tongue-in-cheek.
13. James 'Lights Out' Toney
The three-division world titlist and one-time-only mixed martial artist James “Lights Out” Toney, was at his slimmest best (257 pounds) when he locked horns with Damon Reed in February 2011.
Seriously! At 5’10 and weighing 116 kg, what was he thinking? Save for his fight with Reed, all of Toney’s 12 campaigns at heavyweight have been contested at 217-237 pounds.
Well at least he came in at 199 pounds for his cruiserweight clash with Denis Lebedev.
12. James 'Buster' Douglas
In 1990 and at a svelte-like 220 pounds, Douglas shocked the boxing world when he put a clinic on Mike Tyson, then “The Baddest Man on the Planet.”
Nine years later, he would shock the world for a second time when he made his final curtain call against Andre Crowder—he weighed in at 258 pounds to round off a so-so career via first-round TKO.
11. 'Big' George Foreman
He unseated the late great “Smoking” Joe Frazier as the undisputed heavyweight champ, he rumbled in the Jungle with “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali and lost, and then reinvented himself to become a heavyweight titlist once again when he knocked out Michael Moorer in 1994.
After that, it all went a bit pear-shaped—in his final ring appearance against Shannon Briggs, Foreman weighed 260 pounds. I believe it had something to do with the “George Foreman Grill.”
10. Chris 'The Nightmare' Arreola
At 6’3, the Mexican-American can afford to carry a little bit of weight around, but when you enter a fight with 263 pounds of flab as he did in his fight with Brian Minto, then something smacks of unprofessionalism (Anthony “Rumble” Johnson should take note).
At present, it seems “The Nightmare” is on a healthy diet—in his last four outings, Arreola’s been hitting the scales around 234 and 240 pounds.
9. Samuel 'The Nigerian Nightmare' Peter
Another nightmare on the list—the former WBC heavyweight champion fought the Klitschko brothers thrice and lost on each occasion, but that’s the brothers for you.
One battle Peter could’ve won, but didn’t, was his intake of whatever it was that allowed him to turn up weighing 265 pounds to take on “Fast” Eddie Chambers—a fight he lost by way of majority decision, I might add.
8. Francois 'The White Buffalo' Botha
The White Buffalo has had numerous tilts at the heavyweight crown, however, he’s fallen short every single time—Alex Schulz, Michael Moorer, Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko, Evander Holyfield and Michael Grant were those who denied him the Holy Grail of boxing.
Though what they couldn’t deny him, was his penchant for food, which was one of the reasons he stepped into the ring with Ron Guerrero weighing in at 268 pounds of primed South African beef.
Worthy of note is the fact that Botha has competed in both kickboxing and MMA. In his one and only foray in the latter, “The White Buffalo” succumbed to an armbar submission courtesy of Japanese mixed martial artist Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama.
You’d have thought that Mike Tyson’s attempt at breaking Botha’s arm in 1999 would’ve stood him in good stead for his 2004 meet with Akiyama?
Apparently, it didn’t.
7. Riddick 'Big Daddy' Bowe
Once the undisputed king of the fistic realm, Bowe’s world turned upside down—domestic abuse, kidnapping and a spell in jail, showed just how far one of boxing’s brightest stars had fallen.
That said, in Bowe’s penultimate fight—a labored 10-round snooze-fest against journeyman Billy Zumbrun, he hit the scales at a grotesque 280 pounds.
In his 43 career fights, Bowe only lost once, and that was to Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield back in 1993—the second of their three encounters.
6. Buster Mathis
The father of Buster Mathis Jr, Mathis Sr. fought such boxing personalities as Chuck Wepner (W), Joe Frazier (L), George Chuvalo (W), Jerry Quarry (L), Muhammad Ali (L) and Ron Lyle (L).
Prior to hanging up his gloves following the Lyle fight, Mathis fought and defeated Humphrey McBride. He achieved that feat even though he was carrying poundage of 280.
The photo in the slide was taken some years after he retired from the ring. Nevertheless, the most he weighed outside of the ring was 550 pounds, something which contributed to his untimely death in 1995 at the age of 52.
Of the aforementioned boxers, only three are still alive today—Wepner, Chuvalo and Ali.
5. Carl 'The Fridge' Baker
The 6’4" British heavyweight’s most notable victory was against one of Mike Tyson’s conquerors—fellow Brit Danny Williams.
For a period, Carl “The Fridge” Baker maintained a steady weight between 280 and 300 pounds.
However, he was at his heaviest when he stopped Scott Landsdowne via TKO in June 2005—the Fridge hit the scales at 309 pounds—someone needed to put a lock on that fridge door.
Still, in his last fight back in 2011, Baker came in at a trim 253 pounds.
4. Kevin Karusa
The New Zealand heavyweight’s professional boxing record is 1-2—with all three fights having taken place in 2009.
Kevin Karusa has a strong case to answer for excess—in March of the aforementioned year he weighed in at 253 pounds when he took on and defeated Ben Naqasima.
Three months later Karusa faced off against the Australian Kim Heta, losing via second-round TKO. For that fight he weighed 319 pounds; that’s a 66-pound increase.
In his final fight, Karusa scaled in at 346 pounds, and albeit he outweighed his opponent, Mark de Mori by 51 kg, he still lost the bout by way of KO in Round 5.
3. Gabe 'Big G' Brown
This photo was taken during his unanimous decision loss to Dominick Guinn, which took place on the undercard of the Roy Jones Jr vs. Joe Calzaghe fight. Here the Gabe “Big G” weighed a paltry 301 pounds.
In his next fight against Bruce “The Atlantic City Express” Seldon (that train got derailed when Mike Tyson was let back into society), Big G hit the scales at 359 pounds.
Okay! Enough of that, Brown’s significant weight resume reads like this: Skyler Anderson (360), Bert Cooper (362), Samuel Peter (363) and Saul Montana a whopping 367 pounds, which translates to 164 kilograms.
Though, I’ll give Brown his props—in his two fights following his defeat to Cooper, he actually cut down to 300 pounds, then he went and spoilt it all, by adding on a few extra 54 pounds in his last outing of 2011.
Big G is currently riding an 11-fight losing streak (his majority draw against Paul Marinaccio not included). Something tells me that maybe his overly rotund figure has played a major role in his lack of success in the ring.
2. Eric 'Butterbean' Esch
Eric “Butterbean” Esch has made a name for his self in a several combative sports—kickboxing, MMA and the sweet science. However, we’ll stick to the boxing side of things.
Butterbean has featured in 89 professional career fights whilst racking up 77 victories, and has scored 58 KOs to boot.
Though, one of his claims to boxing fame came in the guise of Peter McNeeley—Mike Tyson’s cannon fodder upon his release from Indianapolis Correctional Facility.
He dismantled “The Hurricane” in the first round via TKO, the same as Tyson did, save for the disqualification to McNeeley.
The other was a unanimous decision loss to an aging Larry Holmes back in 2002.
I believe I’m done with the Butterbean accolades; it’s time to move on to the larger stuff.
Mr. Bean has never been less than 300 pounds in the entirety of his aforementioned fights. That said, his heaviest weight to date was against Joe Siciliano—he weighed in at humongous 417 pounds, which equates to 187 kg.
1. Dustin 'Worm' Nichols
It’s safe to say that Dustin Nichols (4-5, 4T/KOs) has a weight problem—in his nine fights to date he’s scaled an average of 350-plus pounds.
His most notable fight came against Olympic Bronze medalist and Golden Boy Promotions resident Deontay Wilder back in July 2010, a match which he lost when he retired in the first round. At that time, he was bordering on 180 kg.
However, if that doesn’t whet the appetite, then his fight with Justin Jones will—the “Worm” was 450 pounds to the good, and if that wasn’t bad enough, he suffered a second-round TKO defeat.
Now that’s over 200 kg of savory, sugary and fattening Dunkin’ Donuts.
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