Local Sports Notebook: Butler fighting for WBU heavyweight title

Raphael Butlerhasn't had a boxing match in more than a year, but he will return with a bang when he steps into the ring on Feb. 9 in St. Paul.

Butler, of Rochester, will be fighting Jeremy Williamsfor the WBU heavyweight title in a 10-round bout. The WBU is not considered one of the major titles, but the fight could be a stepping stone for the winner. Williams held the IBF title at one point in his career.

"It's a big one," fight promoter Dan O'Connorof Rochester said. "If he gets through this one, it will open doors for him."

Butler has not had a boxing match since November of 2011. He has solid 35-12 professional record, but has lost his last four fights.

He has not been idle, however, as the 28-year-old has had a number of mixed martial arts fights.


"He's been doing both of them," O'Connor said of boxing and MMA. "He seems to be doing fine with the (MMA)."

Williams, of Long Beach, Calif., has a career record of 42-5-1 with 35 knockouts. Of Butler's 35 wins, 28 have been by knockout.

The fight will be held at the Crown Plaza Hotel in St. Paul and the card begins at 7 p.m. O'Connor said tickets can be purchased at the Fourth Street Gym in Rochester or fans can call him at 269-6928 for information.


The Minnesota Vikings will be playing the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in the first round of the playoffs at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Vikings kicker returner and backup defensive back Marcus Sherels,of Rochester, is excited about the playoff berth. After going 3-13 a year ago, the Vikings rebounded to go 10-6 this season.

"We start fresh now in the playoffs," Sherels said. "We couldn't be more happy; we're happy to get there."

The Vikings needed to pull out a thrilling 37-34 win over the Packers on Sunday at the Metrodome to earn the playoff berth. The Packers beat the Vikings 23-14 earlier this season in Green Bay.


"Anytime you play the Packers it's always big," Sherels said.

Sherels finished the regular season averaging 9.0 yards on 32 punt returns with one 77-yard touchdown. He averaged 26.4 yards on 16 kick returns with a long of 41 yards, which was Sunday against the Packers.


The Mayo wrestling program will be recognizing all alumni at the team's meet on Thursday against Owatonna at Mayo High School. The junior varsity match will begin at 6 p.m. and the varsity match will follow.

• Mayo senior wrestler Jake Hansonwas named as one of 10 Clash Scholar/Athlete Award winners

at the huge tournament held this past weekend.

The 10 were chosen out of 640 wrestlers at the event. The wrestlers had to apply for the award and were chosen for their academic achievements as well as community, family and school involvement.



Frank Serratoreis the head coach of the Air Force Academy men's hockey team that lost to Minnesota 4-0 in the first round of the Mariucci Classic. Serratore is a former junior hockey coach in both Rochester and Austin.

He is also the father of current Minnesota player Tom Serratore. The younger Serratore is a junior forward for the Gophers who has played in all 19 games this season and is tied for fourth on the team with six goals. Tom's twin brother, Tim, plays for Division III Augsburg College and is tied for second on the team with five points in 11 games.

The Gophers (13-3-3) rolled to the Mariucci Classic title, beating No. 1 Boston College 8-1 in the title game on Sunday.

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