Home News Paul Butler confident of becoming two-division champ in 2016; sides with Flanagan...

Paul Butler confident of becoming two-division champ in 2016; sides with Flanagan to defeat Mathews

Credit: Frank Warren

‘Baby Faced Assassin’ Paul Butler is more determined than ever to become the first Englishman in over 100 years to drop down a weight and win a second world title. The 27-year-old returns on Saturday February 13th at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

Since his loss to South Africa’s hard-hitting Zolani Tete, the Ellesmere Port man has returned with a bang with three knockouts wins, his latest coming against Silvio Olteanu at the Manchester Arena in December.

Butler, who had no desire to be eased back into action following his defeat, has high hopes for 2016 and is looking to continue his red-hot run.

He said: “Obviously my main aim for the new year is to get a world title shot and then win it. I won one in 2014 and then came short in 2015 which was gutting. I’m working my way to another word title shot this year and this time I’m going to win it and keep hold of it for a long time,”

“Bob Fitzsimmons record is something that I’ve wanted for a long time and I’m confident this is my year. Training has been going really well, I’m feeling fit and ready for whoever is put in front of me.”

February’s action-packed show sees WBO World Lightweight Champion Terry Flanagan take on arch rival Derry Matthews in a massive all-British clash.

Butler, who faced Flanagan three times as a school boy, is confident his former foe will come out on top.

He added, “It’s got all the makings of a brilliant fight. I beat Terry twice as a school boy and it’s really nice to see him progress from when we were 11 and 12 to winning a world title himself. Terry has always been tough as nails, I remember how we always used to meet in the Manchester finals. He’s flying at the moment and I think he’s going to be the red-hot favourite,”

“He’ll have to be cautious though, Derry Mathews is one who always looks like he can upset the applecart but I can see Terry coming out on top, he’ll be very tough to beat.”

Elsewhere on the card…

Welsh puncher Liam Williams will go against Nav Mansouri. Unbeaten Williams made an explosive return to action in a fiery Celtic showdown against Kris Carslaw last month to blast out the Scotsman inside two rounds with a stunning performance to capture the Vacant Lonsdale belt.

After spending a year out with career threatening hand injuries Williams is determined to make up for lost time. Successful surgery has put an end to the chronic hand problems that forced him to halt his progress and he’s now back punching harder than ever.

He said: “2015 was a frustrating year but it ended on a positive note, I’m looking to take that positivity into this year. I’m just really enjoying being back and impressed a lot of people with my last fight. As everyone saw against Carslaw my hand feels brand new and I’m not afraid to use it. I’m still only 23 and I want to make sure I do things the right way, there’s no need to push myself too fast,”

“As for 2016 I’m looking to win the British title outright and then really push on with a European title fight. I definitely feel that I’m back on course towards ultimately a world title, which is my dream, but I’m happy right now that I’ve got the confidence in my punching again,”

Mansouri, who successfully defended his English light-middleweight title against Sam Sheedy last July, is unfazed by the challenge posed by the Rotherham based bruiser.

Williams continued, “He’s got a poor defence and he’s not very fast so that’s something that I’ll be looking to expose. As soon as I start landing punches on him he’s going to go, I’m confident I’ll be able to catch him with a few combinations,”

Williams, 23, returns to a red-hot 154 pound weight division packed with domestic rivals and is looking forward to some tasty fights in the year ahead.

He added, “The division is buzzing at the moment and there’s a lot of great fights to be made. You’ve got the likes of Liam Smith, Gary Corcoran and obviously myself. Our division is one of the most exciting in boxing at the moment and 2016 is going to be a cracking year for fight fans for sure.”