POWERFUL pugilist Paul Butler served up one of his best performances so far by crushing American star Mike Ruiz Jnr and earning an England call-up in the process.
The Vauxhall Motors ABC star, 21, from Great Sutton, has been selected to fight for England ABA against Ireland next month after starring at a charity event in London.
Butler cruised past number-two ranked US fighter Ruiz at York Hall, Bethnal Green, ending the fight as the 22-3 points victor.
Butler, who is returning to form after an 18-month spell away from the ring, is now back in contention to be picked in the Great Britain squad.
Proud dad Paul told the Pioneer that all eyes in the Butler camp are focused on the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“That’s what it is all about now,” he said. “All the England and British coaches knows that Paul is on the edge of things and that he is in contention to be picked.
“He has been sparring with the number one fighter and would have no problem fighting him but he is a special fighter and it’s between him and Paul.
“We were surprised how easy the Ruiz fight was though. I can’t believe he was their best fighter. Whether he was a bit overawed because he was fighting in England or whether it was because he lost a few days before, I don’t know.”
Flyweight fighter Butler, who is training every day before the Ireland clash on Monday, December 7 (venue TBC), had warmed up for the Ruiz fight by defeating former England number one contender Phil Smith in a Golden Belt box-off at Nantwich Civic Hall.
“We are delighted with his progress,” added Paul Snr. “He is back where he should be and right in the mix. In this game anything can happen from month to month.”
Vauxhall Motors ABC also had a number of fighters selected for the Cheshire and Merseyside Divisional Team which travelled to Cefn Mawr to box a North Wales Select team at Maelor ABC.
Eleven of the 15 bouts went on and Vauxhall Motors schoolboy James Delaney was up first.
The southpaw got through an even first round before finding his feet and picking off Sports Club Wrexham ABC’s Corry Jones.
Another Motors schoolboy, Connor Leatt, dominated Maelor ABC’s Dylan Parke, who fought through an early nosebleed to cling on to the end as Connor received a majority points verdict.
Connor Steen was unlucky as his scheduled bout against Maelor’s Jacob Williams – although a good match in weight and experience with both fighters passed by the doctor – saw the Welshman pulled out by his father, gifting Steen victory.
Motors’ rangy southpaw Lewis Ellis displayed good technique and power to drop Thomas Rowley of Maelor in the second for an easy win as Merseyside and Cheshire finished up on top 7-4.