Butler: IBF would strip me if I fought McDonnell, I could drop back to 115lbs
New IBF bantamweight champion Paul Butler has informed WBN that he is considering a move back down to super-flyweight after the completion of his lifelong dream of winning a world title earlier this month.
The 25 year-old from Ellesmere Port defeated compatriot Stuart Hall via split decision following a swift move up from 115lbs and is now stipulated to face American mandatory challenger Randy Caballero.
As Caballero stepped aside to allow Butler to take the title from Hall, there is no room for manoeuvre the ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ as the Briton contemplates his next move. A unification fight with WBA belt holder Jamie McDonnell has already been talked about openly on both sides, although Butler says any ensuing contest would only be for one championship.
“I am still not sure what the plan is about staying at 118lbs,” Butler exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I will sit down after a break next week and talk with the team. It’s no secret that my weight is 115lb so it makes sense to drop down an become a two-weight world champion.
“The only way the McDonnell fight can happen is if I vacate the IBF title as the IBF wouldn’t allow me to defend that against McDonnell with Randy Caballero being mandatory – and that’s only fair he deserves his shot.
“I personally would fight anybody anywhere, and if we do stay at 118lbs and that means going to the US to defend my title, then so be it.
“If we could make the Cabellero fight at the Echo Arena in Liverpool that would be even better as it would be great to fight him at home in my first defence.
“Everything will be sorted out in the coming weeks and I am hoping be back fighting again in September time.”
The IBF super-flyweight title is due to be contested next month when Zolani Tete and Teiru Kinoshita square-off in Kobe, Japan for the vacant belt and Butler could conceivably be in line to face the winner if he decides to head back down.
Butler would certainly be looked upon favourably for the opportunity by the IBF as the current champion at bantamweight, with Caballero then free to fulfil his mandatory shot against the next in line – which at the moment is Daiki Kameda.
Everything hinges on what Butler decides is the best move for his career on the back of what was his greatest performance to date, with his army of fans sure to follow whatever he decides for his autumn return.
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