Butler scores split win over Hall to capture IBF glory

Phil Jay 07/06/2014

Paul Butler turned all his early promise into world title reality on Saturday night as ‘The Baby-Faced Assassin’ came out on top in a pulsating twelve round contest with Stuart Hall in Newcastle.

The 25 year-old from Ellesmere Port made a bright start to the fight, taking the first quarter of the bout before Hall could even find his feet, which ultimately would win Butler the IBF bantamweight belt down the stretch.

Hall began to get back into the fight into the mid-rounds, but was peppered with shots as he got off his own work – leading to a lot of those sessions being down purely to preference which seemed to edge in Butler’s favour.

After ten rounds, I had the fight level as Hall came on strong towards the end of the clash, although Butler had something left in the tank to see out the victory 115-113 on my card. One of the judges saw it the same way I did, whilst another had it a little wider at 117-111. Hall gained the decision from the final scorer 115-113 meaning a split win for a jubilant Butler, who was swamped by family and friends in the ring upon hearing the verdict.

Butler takes the title following just 16 professional fights, and only two at 118lbs, but can now begin planning his first defence of the title after claiming the sports biggest prize after four years in the paid ranks.

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