By Dave Spencer
Undefeated Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook returns to work Tuesday morning installing windows after opening some doors to future fights at the Bell Centre in Montreal Saturday night. Cook delivered a mammoth right hand and followed up with a left hook at the end of the 7th and undefeated Steven Butler went crashing down to the canvas.
Butler (18-1-1 15KO) bounced down off the canvas and did manage to crawl back to his feet but was clearly dazed and referee Marlon Wright wisely called it off. It goes down as the first defeat for the 21-year-old youngster who wasn’t in agreement with the decision to stop the fight, but his team clearly was.
“We agree with the stoppage,” promoter Camille Estephan said after the fight. “You’ve got to protect a kid like that.”
Cook ranked as the #5 junior middleweight captures Butler’s IBF North American and no doubt a spot in the top 10 where Butler was seeded #8.
“We had a deal with (Erislandy) Lara,” Cook’s promoter Tyler Buxton told Fightnews. “But that was dependent on PBC getting the dates. Hopefully, we can get back to the negotiations right now. We’re obviously that much closer and now we’ll have an IBF ranking as well. Brandon just wants to be the next Joe Smith. “
Butler’s promoter Estephan (Butler did not address the media) said the fighter was “lacking in energy,” during the highly contested bout. No doubt Cook, who was trailing on the scorecards after six (Fightnews had scored it 57-57) had something to do with that lack of energy has banged the body all night. In fact, the turning point very well could have been a left hook to the body to begin the 5th that had Butler holding on for most of the round. But with two-thirds of Butler’s fights ending within in three, stamina definitely was going to be the question of the night as Cook escaped unscathed from the early rounds.
Going into the fight, the controversy was Cook having to wear 8-ounce gloves for the first time, a turn of events he was not expecting, but something that definitely worked out for him. “I’ve never fought with 8-ounce gloves before but it was a big difference I think. I know how hard I hit and with 10-ounce gloves. I hurt people.”
It took Cook a couple of rounds to weather the storm and landing shots of his own, but come the third he was finally able to catch up and land some solid right hands that commanded Butler’s respect. Both fighters threw and landed punches that had in the past, ended lesser opponent’s nights.
The ebbs and flows of momentum were perpetual, Cook seemed in full control of the 5th only to have his head snapped back by the right hand of Butler. While the action did flow back and forth, it was Cook who was beginning to take control, nothing to suggest the howitzer that was coming, but certainly the one beginning to dictate the terms of the fight.
Sadly, Cook had little time to celebrate the victory before idiot fans started littering the ring with debris and bottles. It stole a moment that the fighter will never get back and the fighter was more pissed off (and rightly so) than he was celebrating in the press conference afterward.
“It’s tough obviously, it’s the biggest night of my life. It was a great fight and we were going back and forth and I landed a big shot and he got hurt in the sixth and I just kept taking it to him. I worked the body and he was slowing down. I caught him with the big overhand right and he was hurt.
“But for something to happen after a fight like that is obviously ridiculous. I realize not everybody is like that but obviously some of his fans got a little upset.
“I put everything I had into this fight and to go out there and get hit in the back of the head with a bottle? Soon as it hit me I just wanted to cover because stuff was flying from everywhere. People got upset because their boy got beat up, but that shouldn’t happen in boxing.”
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