Butler, the night fighter, knows preparation is key Baltimore cruiserweight goes in 8-rounder tonight


December 16, 1997|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

Baltimore cruiserweight Courtney Butler, who works as a maintenance man for Amtrak by day and trains for his fights at night, will be trying to get his ring career back on track tonight at Martin's West.

Butler (17-3-1), who meets Frank Edmondson (7-4-1) of Raleigh, N.C., in the eight-round main event, has not fought since his disheartening loss to unbeaten Don Diego Poeder for the World Boxing Union Intercontinental title on cable TV last September.

It was Butler's first step up from the club fight ranks, and his trainer, Alvin Anderson, believes he was somewhat intimidated by the challenge.

"Courtney knew he might have to go 12 rounds and was afraid he might run out of gas," Anderson said. "Our strategy going in was for Courtney to step it up offensively after the fifth round, but he was always on defense and let Poeder dictate the whole fight."

The usually aggressive Butler doesn't dispute his trainer's assessment.

"I should have been busier and attacked Poeder's body," he said. "But I'd been off for six months before that fight and was worried about going 12 rounds. The key for me is to be ready physically. I've got to stay busy to maintain my conditioning and confidence."

Butler, 31, realizes he will have to make a major move to put himself in position for a lucrative fight. There has been talk of a possible match in Germany next year against title contender Torsten May.

"I've got to make my own breaks," he said. "But right now, it's rough, working full-time and then training half the night.

Butler's day starts with roadwork at 4 a.m. He reports to work at 7: 30 and finishes at 3. By 6 p.m., he's in Andrew Singletary's box-sized Champ's gym off North Avenue, sparring with middleweights Stan Braxton and Dana Rucker.

"I'd like the luxury some fighters have of doing nothing but training," he said. "For now, I've got to make do. If I keep winning, anything's possible."

Pub Date: 12/16/97

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