This Friday night, at the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN, two top fighters will do battle as rising local star Joey "Minnesota Ice" Abell and Former 2004 Gold Gloves National Champion Raphael "The Silencer" Butler will slug it out for the vacant USA Minnesota State Heavyweight. Here is a Preview of the bout.
Joey "Minnesota Ice" Abell (25-4, 24 KO’s, 1DQ)
Age: 28 Height: 6′ 4″ Reach: 76"
"Minnesota Ice" has a 5 fight win streak going after a previous stretch of 3 losses, including a loss in Sweden to former IBF Cruiserweight champ Alfred Cole, which was notably due to a head butt Abell suffered early in the fight, and an unfortunate Disqualification against Jason Nicholson just a year ago. The Coon Rapids native is known for his massive power jab, which has helped in his 24 out of 25 wins via knockout. Abell commented during the October 27 official fight press conference, "this won't go the distance, we will both come out swinging, I could go 20 rounds if I needed to, but this fight won't go 10 rounds." Abell is ready for war in this bout and won't accept anything less than capturing his home state Minnesota Heavyweight title
Raphael "The Silencer" Butler (35-8, 28 KO’s)
Age: 25 Height 6’ 3" Reach: 77"
The Rochester, MN native is coming into this fight with a shaky 6-4 record dating back to March 2008. One of those losses came against undefeated top contender Malik Scott. The former Gold Glove Nat'l Champ is hoping to steer the ship right with a victory, but previous history shows that "The Silencer" has kept quiet in bigger bouts (0-4 in TV fights, one was USBA title fight vs. Eddie Chambers) although not scheduled for broadcast, this fight will be the last big card in Minnesota for 2009, and a fight that can put Butler back in serious contention for bigger fights in the Heavyweight Division.
Both fighters box at a large weight (Abell is noted to fight around the 240-245 lb. mark. Butler around 255-260). These two fighters are evenly matched; both possessing massive power from the inside and outside, but endurance will be a major factor. Despite both fighters stating that the bout will not go the full scheduled 10 rounds, but Abell hasn't gone past the 3rd round in his last 5 fights, and hasn't fought a full fight since November 2007 while Butler has gone the distance in 2 of his last 3 fights (both were losses) The winner of this fight will be whoever comes out with power shots first and presses and controls the action. I expect this bout to be a true, old-school Heavyweight slugfest. While the numbers favor "Minnesota Ice", I'm predicting "The Silencer" will live up to his name and pull the upset.
Prediction: Butler by KO in 5