Butler loses unanimous decision in Toronto fight

TORONTO – Raphael Butler may not have been victorious, but he surely lived up to his nickname on Saturday night.

The Rochester-based heavyweight, known as "The Silencer" lost a unanimous decision to Canadian champion Neven Pajkic (14-0, 5 KO) by scores of 97-93, 97-93 and 99-91.

Many ringside observers felt that Butler had won the bout, and Pajkic's hometown crowd at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, was noticeably nervous throughout, and notably when it came time for the decision to be announced.

"I thought the decision was (expletive)," said Butler.

On just three weeks notice, Butler was able to give a fighter considered to be a top heavyweight prospect all he could handle, while on the road.


Butler (35-9, 28 KO) appeared to have knocked Pajkic down in the opening round after a sweeping left hook connected, however referee Dave Dunbar ruled the fall a slip.

"Everyone in the sport of boxing knows that when you hit a man and he hits the canvas, it's a knockdown," said Butler mockingly of the incident. "That wasn't a slip."

The visiting fighter capitalized on the momentum, and staggered Pajkic with a vicious uppercut in the second round. It would be the telling blow of the night, as Pajkic's nose began to bleed profusely as a result, and would continue to do so throughout the contest.

Despite the bloodflow, Pajkic fought admirably and did the majority of his work on the inside, where Butler would respond periodically with uppercuts.

After slowing his pace considerably during the middle rounds, Butler landed a straight right hand in the ninth round that sent his opponent into the ropes, another instance that could have been scored a knockdown.

At the post-fight press conference, Butler's team pleaded for a rematch to take place in Minnesota, however Pajkic verbally agreed to face legendary heavyweight Donovan "Razor" Ruddock, who is now 46 years of age.

"I'd love a rematch, just not in Toronto," said Butler.

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