Sheika defeats Butler by split decision
By Victor Garcia (August 11, 2004) 
Photos © Brendon Pierpaoli
ESPN2 showcased Tuesday Night Fights from Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey. The main event was expected to be a ten round war between Omar Sheika and James 'The Harlem Hammer' Butler. It was reported before the fight that Butler did not make the contracted weight limit in his first attempt. He was forced to lose five pounds when he came in at 180 pounds at the official weigh-in. The size difference was evident. Butler appeared visibly larger than New Jersey native Sheika. Sheika is most recently noted for his toe-to-toe wars against Scott Pemberton. You might remember Butler as the man who sucker punched Richard Grant after their bout had ended in 2001. Grant’s jaw was broken in the incident and Butler left the Roseland Ballroom in handcuffs.

The expected brawl never truly materialized. Sheika chose to box and tie-up on the inside. For his part, Butler threw few combinations and seemed to be banking on landing a single power punch. The tenth round proved to be the most eventful, with both fighters looking to end strong.

Omar Sheika was awarded a well deserved split decision. The scores were 96-94 and 97-93 for Sheika, while the dissenting judge had it 96-94 for Butler. Sheika improved to 26-6 (17) and Butler dropped to 20-5 (12).

The Undercard

Manning 'The Spoiler' Galloway is increasing his reputation as a spoiler. He faced crowd favorite Said Ouali in an eight round bout that kept the referee busy. Ouali had two points deducted for rabbit punches. The fight was rough but Galloway proved to be the busier fighter and walked away with a unanimous decision. With the loss Ouali falls to 14-2 (8), while 44 year-old Galloway ups his record to 61-17-1 (13). After beating the once highly touted Ricardo Williams Jr. earlier this year, he beat Bryon Mackie in a fight he was supposed to lose, and now Ouali.

The other televised fight was between Agnaldo Nunes and Johnny Walker. Nunes is trained by Oscar Suarez who is noted for being the trainer of Acelino 'Popo' Freitas, who was recently defeated by Diego Corrales. Suarez should also be familiar to fans as the man in the corner of former champion Naseem Hamed just before the 'The Prince' retired. There was a slow start to the fight with both fighters seemingly feeling each other out. The action came in the third round when there was a clash of heads. The referee called up the ringside physician as both fighters were cut. The doctor allowed the bout to continue and the referee called the fighters to action. There was an immediate exchange between the two men, and Nunes was floored by a winging left hook. Nunes rose almost instantly and showed little ill effects from the knockdown for the remainder of the bout. Nunes was able to land his straight left from his southpaw stance with regularity. In the end, the Brazilian Nunes won a unanimous decision against Walker who is now on an eight fight losing streak. With the win, Agnaldo Nunes improves to 8-1 (4), while Walker falls to 18-11 (12).


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