By Elliot Foster (@FreelanceFoz)
Paul Butler has been handed a date for his next fight and believes a victory could set up a mouthwatering clash with Jamie Conlan.
The former IBF bantamweight champion, from Ellesmere Port, will fight for a title later this year after being told he is on the Frank Warren-promoted ‘Xmas Cracker’ card, which is in association with Adam Booth and will be shown live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky channel 437/HD 490, Virgin channel 546 and TalkTalk channel 415).
Butler, 26, expects to be in the ring with an opponent suitable enough to mean there is a belt –– “like the WBO European or something” –– on the line on December 19.
Since losing for the first time as a pro to Zolani Tete, by stoppage, in March, Butler has added two victories to his ledger: a fifth round stoppage of Gustavo Molina in July before a 30-second demolition of Argentina’s Hector Rolando Guzman at the beginning of the month.
But before stepping between the ropes again, he’ll be ringside to assess the performance of potential future foe Conlan at Dublin’s National Stadium.
The Belfast man is set to defend his WBO Inter-Continental crown on November 7 for the second time, after overcoming tough Mexican Junior Granados in July, with Butler providing ringside commentary before the pair come face-to-face to spice-up an early-New Year showdown.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him up close in Dublin [and] I hope he shows me something more that what I’ve seen of him,” said Butler, who’ll be joined on the card by Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders, who clash for the WBO middleweight crown.
“Personally I think Conlan’s a good kid, but he’s not good enough to beat me.
“He’s got plenty of heart and I respect that, but against me he’d have to show a lot more than just grit.
“I’m confident that I’d beat him, whether he stood in front of me, if I took it to him, or if I boxed him, I know I’d come out the winner.
“There’s not any department that he could beat me from what I’ve seen. If that Mexican kid, Granados, pushed him back, what’s he going to do against the likes of me? I’m bigger and stronger and I’d do what I want to him.”
Elsewhere, WBO world champions Liam Smith and Terry Flanagan will make the first and second defences of their super welterweight and lightweight titles respectively.
And WBO Inter-Continental and WBO European super lightweight title holder Jack Catterall will return in title action.
The Chorley hotshot, 22, defended his aforementioned Inter-Continental crown at the Manchester Arena last weekend, cruising to a shut-out points decision victory over previously unbeaten Jarkko Putkonen from Finland.by