By Elliot Foster (@FreelanceFoz)
Paul Butler will return to the title trail in his next outing.
The Ellesmere Port sensation, 26, will fight for the vacant WBO European super flyweight title before the end of the year after it was relinquished by his division rival Jamie Conlan.
Butler will face former two-time European flyweight champion Silvio Olteanu at Manchester Arena on December 19, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky channel 437/HD 490, Virgin channel 546 and TalkTalk channel 415), as part of promoter Frank Warren’s ‘Xmas Cracker’ card, which is in association with Adam Booth and headed by Andy Lee’s WBO middleweight title defence against number one-rated challenger Billy Joe Saunders.
Since losing for the first time as a pro to Zolani Tete, by stoppage, in March, Butler, a former IBF champion at bantamweight, 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 last month.
Olteanu, meanwhile, will go into the fight on the back of a defeat in a European title challenge against France’s Thomas Masson, whose new mandatory challenger is Liverpool’s Kevin Satchell.
A potential blockbuster match-up with aforementioned rival Conlan remains high on the agenda for the ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ and he is sure that that clash will materialise if he puts in a glittering display against the 37-year-old Romania-born Spaniard.
“This is my first title fight since the Tete fight and I’m desperate to get a belt around my waist again,” said Butler, who holds a 19-1 (10) record.
“I’ve proved that the Tete fight wouldn’t dent my confidence and I believe I’ve improved and come back stronger from it as you’ve seen in my last two fights.
“Now I’m in facing a tougher test against a good former European champion who will make me raise my game and maybe give me a harder test.
“He’s never been stopped and I’m looking to be the first.
“He can bring what he likes to the ring, I’m focused on what I’ve got to do and that’s to destroy him and get him out of the way so I can move on in my career and get that second world title.
“That could lead to Conlan next year, which is a belter of a fight that I’m confident I’d win, but right now I’m dealing with Olteanu and getting the important win.”
Elsewhere, Liam Smith makes the first defence of his WBO super welterweight belt and his fellow Liverpudlian Derry Mathews will also feature.
As well as the addition of WBA interim lightweight champion Mathews to the bill in title action, it has been announced that Mitchell Smith will defend his WBO Inter-Continental super featherweight title against George Jupp in a rescheduled clash.
Adrian Gonzalez, who stopped John Kays in a sensational display earlier this month, will return, and Tommy Langford is set to defend his WBO Inter-Continental middleweight title for a second time.
Meanwhile, Liam Williams will defend his Commonwealth title in the super welterweight division for the first time when he faces Scotland’s Kris Carslaw, with the pair also contesting the vacant British trinket.
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 Manchester Arena earlier this month, cruising to a shut-out points decision victory over previously unbeaten Jarkko Putkonen from Finland.
And Commonwealth super middleweight champion Luke Blackledge, who was handed a three-year deal by promoter Frank Warren following his last fight against Lee Markham, is expected to feature on the card, while former fringe WBO titlist Joe Selkirk returns to the super welterweight mix after recovering from a hand injury.
Tickets, priced at £40, £50, £75, £100, £200 (VIP) and £300 (VIP + food), are available from frankwarren.com or by phone on 01992 505550.by