Paul Butler has been installed as the headline act for his next fight – at Aintree racecourse.
The Great Sutton boxer, 25, will head to the home of the Grand National to defend his WBO and WBA Intercontinental super-flyweight belts on March 1.
Butler is more used to fighting at the Echo Arena or Liverpool Olympia, but his next show, promoted by Frank Warren, will be staged in Aintree’s Equestrian Centre.
Butler, speaking at a press conference to promote the fight last week, revealed he wants to move up in weight and challenge for the world bantamweight title later this year.
After his Aintree date in March, the unbeaten former Vauxhall ABC amateur wants to fight’s Darlington’s Stuart Hall at 8st 6lbs before the summer.
Hall won the vacant world crown in December against Vusi Malinga and was cheered on by Butler from ringside. The pair have sparred together and Butler is convinced he can dethrone the new champ.
“That is definitely a fight I want,” declared Butler. “Hall holds the IBF world bantamweight world title and I have no problem moving up in weight.
“Hopefully after this fight on March 1 we will be looking at the end of April or start of May for the Stuey Hall fight.
“Let’s see what Frank (Warren) can do but nothing has been set yet.”
Butler has enlisted the help of a strength and conditioning coach and is revamping his diet in order to make him as strong as possible for a potential showdown with Hall.
“It is only another three pounds,” he added. “We’ve sparred before and I would be confident of going in there and beating Stuey Hall on the night.
“I’m sure he would be confident of beating me and people read different things into sparring but I would be confident.
“I was impressed with Hall in December and I was cheering him on.
“He really had to dig deep against Malinga but the occasion lifted him. Going into rounds six, seven and eight he was biting down on his gum shield but he got through it.
“And he’s realised his dream and not many people can say that.”
Butler does not see any move up to bantamweight as a long-term change in his career. The former England amateur also has ambitions at his current weight.
“My long-term future is at super-flyweight but this is an opportunity to win a world title,” he said.
Butler hopes to discover this week who his opponent will be for the big Aintree show, which will also see Joe Selkirk make the first defence of his WBO European light-middleweight title. Tickets are available from Eventim on 0844 842 5005 or www.eventim.co.uk .