Ellesmere Port’s Paul Butler has announced that he is set to relinquish his IBF Bantamweight title and drop back down to Super-Flyweight.
Butler earned the IBF strap only last month, in a closely fought battle against Darlington’s Stuart Hall. Despite overcoming the champion, Butler confessed that he is more “natural” at the 8st 3lbs mark. The Liverpudlian won the world title in only his 16th fight but now has his sights set on another piece of history, as he aims to become a two-weight world champion.
“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 in an interview with the Liverpool Echo.
“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,”
Butler’s IBF title will now remain up for grabs and mandatory challenger Randy Caballero will likely step to challenge for the vacant strap. Butler aired remorse at having to give up his hard earned world title, but has not ruled out a return to the Bantamweight division once his ambitions have filled in his more natural weight class.
“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 focussed on winning and unifying titles at super-flyweight
“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.”
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