Some fights demand a rematch and some rematches demand a rubber match. We've seen it with great trilogies such as Ali v Frazier, Ali v Norton, Ward v Gatti, Barrera v Morales, Zale v Graciano and Patterson v Johansson. Other fights however don't deserve rematches, much less a series of 3 bouts, one such case was between "king of the 4 rounders" Eric 'Butterbean' Esch and Harry Funmaker (who we need to say has a genuinely fantastic name).

Esch and Funmaker met for the first time back in 1998 fighting for the IBA Heavyweight title over the course of 4 rounds. In that bout Esch claimed a decision to move his respectable looking record to an impressive 37-1-1 whilst Funmaker dropped to 9-10.

The two men then fought a rematch in 2000 with Esch again claiming the victory via a decision in a 4 round contest. This saw Esch moving to an even more impressive looking 61-1-2 whilst Funmaker again fell to a losing record as he dropped to 14-15.

Amazingly despite the fact Esch had gone 2-0 against Funmaker someone thought it was a brilliant idea to have them meeting for a 3rd bout in 2009, 11 years after their first battle (which was actually televised on ESPN). By then Esch had seen his record fall to 77-7-4 and he had lost 4 of his previous 9 dating back over 4 years! The "Bean" wasn't just on the slide but he was also well over 40 and had been all but forgotten by boxing fans who had thought the affable and rotund fighter had retired.

Of course it wasn't just Esch that had aged and Funmaker himself was 46! In fact Funmaker had been out of the ring for nigh on 4 years and had only fought once in 6 years!

Amazingly Funmaker managed to avenge his losses to Esch as he claimed a split decision over the the popular but much forgotten "Butterbean" who had by now lost the appeal of being a bit of a "side show freak". Sadly the growing trend of fatter Heavyweights had presumably ruined the Butterbean gimmick and Esch would fight just once more as a professional, losing to Curt Allan in 2012 before retiring (hopefully for good) with a record of 77-9-4(58).

Funmaker, like Esch would fight until January 2012, in fact Funmarker managed a nice little string of wins before losing to Billy Wright in a PABA Heavyweight title bout (some how Funmaker qualified for that, not sure how) before retiring with a record of 19-18-0-1 (6) calling an end to a career that had started way back in 1989.

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