Ellesmere Port’s Paul Butler is gearing up for another raid on a world title this year, but first is focussed on taking care of business on March 12.
The super flyweight is still on the comeback trail following his first career defeat to the then-IBF titlist Zolani Tete almost twelve months ago.
Butler (20-1, 11 KO) – a former bantamweight world champion – finished 2015 by winning the WBO European strap, with a sixth round stoppage win over Silvio Olteanu. He was set to defend that belt this coming weekend, but an injury at the top of the bill has consequently caused Butler’s fight to also be postponed.
“It’s done me a favour it being put back if I’m honest. I had a bad hand and a niggle on my shoulder after the last fight, so it has kind of helped me out this time,” he said.
“Now I can have more sparring and the shoulder is a lot better because of having time for physio, so everything Is perfect and feel fit and ready to go. We have just started sparring and it’s easier to be motivated now that I know my opponent.
He added: “I’m not totally sure of this guy’s name, but it will be a Mexican and his record reads 12-1, 9 KO. It means that the WBO European belt won’t be on the line, so still needs to be confirmed whether it is for a title or how many rounds it will be – I should find out this week.”
This upcoming fight is being earmarked as a potential warm up for a huge domestic clash against stable mate Jamie Conlan. However, the Northern Irishman has recently sustained an injury, putting that clash in considerable doubt.
Butler said: “Conlan’s injury shouldn’t affect our plans to fight next, I think he got a tiny tear or something, but he is back punching apparently. He will probably fight in six weeks’ time and then me and him can get it on in May/June time.
“I’ve wanted this fight for a long time and he has been calling me out since I was British champion, but has never wanted the fight when we asked. This is the time for it to happen and it either happens in the summer or it isn’t getting made at all. I’m sick of it being talked about and saying it will happen after this next fight all the time.
“I want to be fighting for world title and I’m not holding back just for Conlan. We both have good rankings with the WBO, so if it does happen it should be a world title eliminator. Even better, If Inoue moves up in weight then it could be for the vacant belt,” he added.
It was recently announced that Tete and Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux have been added to the March 12 Liverpool card and Butler is excited to be fighting on the same bill.
“It’s great to have them both on the same bill. I didn’t think we would get to see Tete in England again, even though he beat me, but now he is with Frank Warren as well is brilliant news and we are both very good friends,” the 27-year old said.
“Tete is a great champion and it is a shame he had to give his title up for money reasons. Him and Inoue are the best at the weight and I would love to see them fight to establish who is the true number one. You always want to fight the best and battle for world belts and I would love a shot at Inoue myself.
“Rigondeaux is out of this world and is one of the most feared in world boxing – no one in super bantam wants to go near him. Getting to see him in Liverpool is superb for the fans and its nice to be on the same bill. I want to see him in big fights, but I think Frampton and Quigg will avoid fighting him and the WBA belt will become vacant for Rigo,” Butler concluded.
Matt Horan is a lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123