EXCLUSIVE: Paul Butler talks WBSS delay, hopeful on UK broadcaster
World Boxing Super Series reserve Paul Butler has voiced his opinion on delays in the current tournament. The Ellesmere Port fighter recommends ITV strike a deal as back up.
The WBSS second season has seen a lengthy spell occur from the quarter-final stage to the semi-finals.
Regarding the first season, the semi-finals took place in January or February. Whereas season 2 is at least two months behind the previous schedule.
Being a part of the tournament as a reserve, Butler was asked about the hold-up in the highly anticipated fight nights.
“I think it has been a bit delayed. Obviously, I’ve been in the gym with Callum and Callum won the first series at Super Middle. I think for Callum, it was just like he boxed Skoglund and his date was set straight away. It was meant to be Braehmer but he ended up boxing someone else,” Butler explained to World Boxing News.
“The date was set there for him. He knew he could have a week or two out of the gym and then straight back into a 12-week training camp.”
Rumours sparked back in January about the tournament being in jeopardy, which WBN confirmed to luckily not be true, earlier this year.
With the semi-finals set, fans can be at ease knowing the show goes on. But admittedly it could have gone better.
“For this one, it’s been a bit slow for them, especially the TV. They should have definitely gotten a UK TV subscriber, even if it was ITV again. I think everyone enjoyed that,” Butler pointed out.
“I just think its been a bit slow. Hopefully, the semi-finals get done and the finals get announced straight away.”
Being the reserve for the Bantamweight tournament means Butler would step in if anything were to happen to the semi finalists.
When asked by WBN how he would feel being one of the semi finalists in this situation, he replied: “Very frustrating, they’ve obviously went in the tournament to do exactly what Callum and Usyk have done (become champions and Ali Trophy winners).
“Obviously, they want to know when they’re fighting. I find that the worst. It’s hard being in the gym and training not knowing when you’re fighting.
“Especially for the champions. I’m sure they want to be active and picking up the belts. Rodriguez is boxing Inoue, I know he’s not the WBA Super champion but that’s the WBA champion vs. the IBF champion.
“They want to unify the division. I think that’s pretty much the reason why they went into the tournament, knowing they’ll be active and knowing they’ll be picking up more titles or the opportunity to pick up more titles,” Butler concluded.
The WBSS received favourable reviews for its first season. Most notably for bringing all the four belts together in the cruiserweight division.
A feat which takes many boxers years to achieve happened in just one with Oleksandr Usyk as the winner.
Chandler Waller is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerWaller