Boxing legend Butterbean says he's ready to return to the ring following a dark battle with weight gain and depression.
The 55-year-old – who last fought in 2013 – says he struggled to cope with life away from the sport and quickly ballooned to a whopping 35 stone (490lbs). He was offered the chance to face Mike Tyson two years ago when the former heavyweight champion came out of retirement, but had to turn it down due to the appalling state of his physical and mental health.
He was heading for an early grave before former WWE star Diamond Dallas Page turned his life around by getting him back in the gym and putting him on a gluten and dairy free diet – and now he says he's ready to fight again.
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"I went through a stage where I was looking at the end of my life – not that I was going to kill myself, but I was getting down, I was way overweight and just feeling down," Butterbean told The Sun.
"I took a challenge to accept a docuseries or a reality show with Diamond Dallas Page and I’ve been here the past four months. And it’s given me more energy and life since I was fighting regularly.
"Now, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life. I’m at my lowest weight right now than I’ve ever been – I’ve never fought at this weight as a matter of fact."
Who would you prefer to see Butterbean fight – Mike Tyson or Jake Paul? Let us know in the comments section below.
The notorious knock-out artist will appear in a docuseries about his weight loss alongside Diamond Dallas Page – who has helped a number of former pro athletes get their lives back on track after falling off the wagon post-retirement.
Butterbean – real name Eric Esch – is now eyeing a match-up against either old pal Tyson or YouTuber-turned boxer Jake Paul.
"I’m not a typical boxer, I go out there to fight, I want to knock somebody out. Jake Paul or Mike Tyson," Butterbean added. "Jake Paul runs his mouth too much, he’s never fought nobody, I would love to fight him. But I think people would like to see me and Tyson go at it, which would be a hell of a draw."
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