PAUL BUTLER plans to relinquish his IBF bantamweight title, just four weeks after taking it from countryman Stuart Hall via tight 12-round decision. The unbeaten Ellesmere Port star was pushed hard by Hall, and plans to return to super-flyweight as he aims to become Britain’s first boxer to win a second world title at a lighter weight in over a century.
Although sad to give up his world title belt, undefeated Butler, who won the world title in only his 16th fight – the quickest ever by an English boxer – is excited at the prospect of carving out a piece of modern boxing history in his quest to become a British great.
“It’s a beautiful belt and it’s hard to relinquish it seeing as it’s the first world title that I’ve won, but I knew that it was always going to be the case if I won it I’d have to return it and go back to down to super-flyweight,” said Butler
“When the opportunity came to fight Hall for the title I knew that it was a fight that I could win and I grabbed the chance with both hands. To become a world champion in only my 16th fight was an absolute dream come true. Obviously there was a big size difference between me and Hall, but I said to everybody that I could overcome him with my speed and work-rate and that proved to be the case, but I’m a natural 115 pounder.
“Now I aim to win a world title at super-fly and achieve another dream of becoming a two-weight world champion in reverse. Most of the British greats have gone up through the weights like Duke McKenzie, David Haye, Ricky Hatton, Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank to name a few, but only Bob Fitzsimmons has achieved the feat of dropping down a weight and that will be a big incentive for me.
“I’d like to thank the IBF for allowing me to fight for their prestigious world title and to Stuart Hall, who put up a tremendous battle, and to my manager and promoter Frank Warren and Hall’s promoter Dennis Hobson for putting the fight together and giving me and the fans something special to remember.
“Of course, another return to bantamweight isn’t out of the picture in the future. I’m still only 25 and in the next couple of years I could fill out and mature some more and be more comfortable at that weight, but for now I’m focused on winning and unifying titles at super-flyweight.”