Promoter Frank Warren believes Ellesmere Port’s Paul Butler is ‘on the cusp’ of becoming a world champion for a second time.
Butler beat Stuart Hall to win the IBF world bantamweight title in 2014 but vacated that belt to move back down to his natural weight and challenge Zolani Tete for the IBF super-flyweight crown.
His attempt to become the first British boxer to win a second world title at a lighter weight in over 100 years ended in a brutal eighth-round knockout defeat .
That was Butler’s first loss as a professional but the 27-year-old has demonstrated his strength of character to put that behind him, stopping each of his next three opponents.
Butler claimed the WBO European super-flyweight title against Silvio Oltenau before Christmas and defends that belt for the first time at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Saturday, March 12.
Warren insists Butler is bang on course to achieve his dream of winning a second world title, and could get his chance against much-touted opponent Jamie Conlan this summer should WBO world super-flyweight champion Naoya Inoue vacate his title.
“He’s been down, but he’s bounced right back up and I believe is on the cusp of becoming a world champion again,” wrote Warren on his website.
“Since his defeat against the phenomenal puncher from South Africa, Zolani Tete, the Ellesmere Port warrior has made an impressive return with three successive inside the distance victories, culminating with his brisk conquest of the never previously stopped Silvio Olteanu at the Manchester Arena in December.
“I’m backing Butler to be back on top of the world this year and hoping he can be matched with the unbeaten Belfast battler Jamie Conlan in a final eliminator for the WBO title - they are currently ranked two and three. And should the Japanese champion, Naoya Inoue, vacate as is anticipated, it could well be for the vacant crown.
“So ‘The Baby Faced Assassin’ has all to fight for, and he still has one burning ambition. That is to become the first Briton for more than 100 years to step down a weight and win a second world title.
“The last was Bob Fitzsimmons, who won middleweight, heavyweight and then in 1902, the light heavyweight championship.
“Now that full Butler service has been resumed I believe he will do it as his determination, like his inbred Merseyside gumption, is unbounded.”