Kenny Craven defeats Butterbean!

By Brad Cooney


Kenny Craven defeats Butterbean!

The main event of a Saturday night boxing card in Jackson, Mississippi pitted  Eric "Butterbean" Esch against Mississippi fan favorite, Kenny Craven, who took the fight on very short notice when the original opponent, Ray Lunsford suffered a hand injury. Craven, from Laurel, Mississippi, landed a split-decision victory over Butterbean, and it is safe to say that Craven left the Coliseum a very happy guy. After all, this was Craven's third fight against Butterbean, and the third time was the charm for him. In the co-feature, former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding faced a tough little pit bull out of Denver named Doreen Hilton. Harding and Hilton gave the crowd a good fight, regardless of negative comments spouted by a local newspaper, the Clarion Ledger.  That bout also resulted in a split verdict, and Harding was judged the winner.

One of the nicest suprises of the evening came when we suprised the crowd with a special guest appearance by Brad Arnold, lead singer of the very popular rock band, 3 Doors Down. Arnold walked Butterbean to his corner and the crowd went
crazy when ring announcer Amy Hayes made the announcment.


One thing I learned throughout this experience is that Jackson Mississippi is not a boxing city. The poor attendance was most definitely not due to lack of promoting as we spent a lot of money on advertisment with radio, television, and newspaper as well as receiving plenty of free coverage. However, the local newspaper The Clarion Ledger showed us very little support throughout the months prior to the fight. I find it ironic that this newspaper returned none of our calls, and responded to none of our e-mails, or press releases up until a few days before the fight, and thenthe paper criticized the event, and the poor attendance. However, I would like to thank all of those who did show up for the fight. It seemed like they all enjoyed the fights very much and even the Clarion Ledger noted the crowd was on its feet for the last two rounds of the main event.

So, now I have one professional fight under my belt, and more than likely it will be my last one. I look forward to getting back to what I love doing, and that is to interview the warriors who make the sport of boxing such a great sport.


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