PAUL Butler underlined his massive potential on a weekend to remember for Vauxhall Motors ABC.
The rising bantamweight star lit up the Liverpool Olympia before two of his former Motors clubmates booked their place in the semi-finals of the Senior ABA Championships.
Butler issued a statement of intent on Saturday with his sensational fifth-round stoppage of Francis Croes.
Fighting on the undercard of the big Derry Mathews headlined bill, the 22-year-old from Little Sutton picked his more experienced opponent apart to claim his second victory in his many bouts since turning pro late last year.
Butler’s father and matchmaker, Paul Snr, said: “It was a very good performance.
“What we as coaches want to see is different to what the crowd wants to see, but Paul really listened to what we had to say and went out there and done it.
“He nullified the kid, took his time from the outside and then moved in for the kill.”
Showing delightful footwork and a variety of shots throughout, Butler began to up the pace in the fourth of six scheduled two-minutes rounds as he rained down a barrage of punches on the stunned Croes.
The proud Middlesbrough fighter was desperate to hold on, but the referee had no other option but to step in and stop the contest 36 seconds into the fifth.
Butler, who signed a three-year deal with legendary promoter Frank Warren in September, is now back in training ahead of a possible fight at the end of the month.
Two fighters hoping to follow in the former ABA champion’s footsteps are Alex Foulkes and Wayne Adeniyi.
The Vauxhall Motors duo took a big step toward national titles with wins in Sunday’s ABA Championships quarter-final clashes between Merseyside & Cheshire and the Midlands at Everton Park.
Foulkes progressed into the 51kg last four with an excellent 16-14 win over Aston’s highly-rated Raza Hamsa.
Adeniyi had it easier as he swept aside Bracebridge’s Mitchell Smith 18-12 in his 86kg clash.