Paul Butler heads into the unknown on Saturday night as he sets about targeting a showdown with IBF world champion Stuart Hall.

Unbeaten Butler, 25, had been due to defend his WBO and WBA Intercontinental super-flyweight titles against Diego Liriano at Aintree Racecourse.

But the prospect of a domestic dust up with Darlington-based Hall has proven too enticing for Butler and those around him.

He has stepped up to bantamweight and the 25-year-old challenges Oreste Bernabe Nieva for the vacant WBA Inter-Continental Bantamweight belt.

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Should everything go according to plan, Butler then hopes to get Hall – who defends his Martin Ward on March 29 – in the ring later in the year.

“I want to kick on with my career and people have been talking about a world title for the past six months,” said the Little Sutton man.

“It’s time for the talking to stop and for me to step up to the plate and show what I can do.

“The plan changed after Stuey won the world title and we are chasing him and that belt.”

Hall, 34, defeated Vusi Malinga to claim the IBF crown in December but Butler feels he has what it takes to  dethrone the champion.

“I honestly think Stuey thinks he would win the fight but I’ve sparred with him and I proved then I can beat him and I’ve improved since then,” he said.

Hall has no shortage of challengers but Butler has faith his promoter Frank Warren can deliver his dream of fighting for a world title.

“Before Stuey won the world title it was a fight Frank was looking at and now he’s got the belt I’m sure he can make it,” said Butler.

“Frank is the man with the money and if somebody else comes in then I’m sure he can beat them and make the fight happen.”

Butler retains long-term ambitions at super-flyweight but does not believe the step up to 8st 6lbs will present any problems.

“I actually think going up in weight is going to give me an advantage,” he said.

“I don’t struggle to do 8st 3lbs but I have to work at it and the extra three pound makes a difference. It feels a bit more natural and I feel a lot fitter and more powerful.

“I have employed a strength and conditioning coach and have been working with them for seven weeks and the difference is massive

“I’ve been doing a lot of explosive work and I’m felling a lot stronger and I’m punching harder so I think people are going to see a completely different fighter come Saturday night.”

Butler does not know much about the man he will face on Saturday but is happy to let trainer Arnie Farnell come up with the gameplan.

“I never worry about who I’m fighting because I always leave that side of things to my team,” said Butler.

“Arnie has had a look at him and we’ve been working on a few things in training like what kind of shots to throw and I’m very confident.”

Friend and training partner Matty Fagan, 26, will also be action at Aintree Racecourse.

Former amateur star Fagan has won his first four pro contests and will bid to extend that run against Gloucester fighter Andy Harris.