PAUL Butler will be given one last shot at securing his place on the Great Britain team for this summer’s Beijing Olympics.
Vauxhall Motors ABC starlet Butler, 18, was eliminated in the quarter-finals of last week’s Olympic qualifiers in Pescara, Italy, by Turkey’s Ferhat Pehlivan. But GB team bosses have told the Great Sutton light-flyweight he will be the man they send to the last European qualifier in Athens in the second week of April.
They resisted the temptation to look to an experienced head like Darren Langley, partly because Butler’s defeat in Italy was a tactical one.
Butler said: “He had his tactics right and I didn’t. The match started slow and I picked up when I was behind, but he had the experience to just fend me off and protect his lead. If I had forced the issue sooner I would have won.”
Butler went down 15-12 and went into the final round three points down. He set about Pehlivan, but the Turk simply matched him and the round ended 10-10.
His opponent did not qualify for the Olympics either and Butler is looking for revenge when the pair enter the final qualifier to contest the three remaining light-flyweight places in Beijing.
“If we meet again, I will have him,” said Butler. “If I reach the final in Athens, I am through. If I reach the semi-final, I go into a box-off for the third remaining place. I am confident I will succeed.”