‘PUNCH perfect’ Paul Butler wants a crack at his old world title after making a mightily impressive return to the ring.
The 27-year-old from Great Sutton produced a boxing masterclass in his first outing in seven months to sweep aside Alexis Ruiz.
Butler had vowed to ‘put on a show’ in his big comeback bout at the Bolton Whites Hotel on Saturday night.
And, with impressed new trainer Joe Gallagher watching on from his corner, the Chester -born fighter did just that as he cruised to a 99-92 points victory.
It was the former ABA champion’s first fight since linking up with Gallagher and his first since moving back up to bantamweight.
Butler immediately relinquished the IBF world bantamweight crown he claimed in June 2014 to drop down to super-flyweight in an effort to become a two-weight world champion.
And after his highly successful return the former Sutton High School student has set his sights on the current holder of the belt – Lee Haskins.
Butler said after outclassing Mexican Ruiz: “I wouldn’t mind a shot at my old title, the IBF title.
“I got advised to give it up. I gave it up and went back down a weight. It was a mistake.
“I should have tried to keep hold of it. I should have defended it. So I’d like a crack at that. If Lee Haskins is ready we can get it on next year.”
Gallagher wants Butler to fight on the bill at Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on November 26 before getting in the ring with Haskins or WBA world bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell.
But the Ring Magazine Trainer of the Year has no doubt the ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ is back on the road to the top.
Gallagher, who also trains Anthony Crolla, Scott Quigg and Liam Smith out of his Bolton gym, said: “In some of those rounds I was thinking, ‘wow, I don’t think you’ll see many boxers fight as well as this technically’. It was punch perfect.
“But it’s a work in progress and there are other things we have to work on, especially if we are to compete at world level.
“But it’s not like I’ve got to change him from a Ricky Hatton to a Floyd Mayweather. It’s fine tuning and making those adjustments.”
Brilliant Butler, who improved to 22-1 after his classy win, added: “I stuck to the instructions.
“I’ve been with Joe for about 10 weeks now and he’s been drilling instructions into me, little minor things. I felt good.”