By Elliot Foster
Paul Butler will be in pole position for a third world title shot with a win in his next fight.
The Ellesmere Port man, 27, is set to participate in a final eliminator for the WBO super flyweight title on June 4 at Liverpool’s ECHO Arena.
Butler (21-1, 12 KOs), who has won a world title up at bantamweight and unsuccessfully challenged for another in the 115lb division, will defend his WBO International title, exclusively live on BoxNation.
‘The Baby-Faced Assassin’ will come up against number six-rated Thai Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (38-7-1, 18 KOs), as part of the undercard to Liam Smith’s first defence of the WBO super welterweight world title, and the winner of the clash will be moved up to number one with the Boxing Organisation and will be next in line for a shot at the title, which is currently held by Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue.
“He’s a good kid,” Butler, who will have his first fight under the tutelage of new trainer Oliver Harrison, told Boxing Scene, “but he’s set in his ways in terms of his work rate.”
Kokietgym is a former light flyweight who currently holds the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental super flyweight belt.
The 30-year-old was last between the ropes only last month when he defended the aforementioned prize against Nouldy Manakane of Indonesia over 12 rounds in Thailand.
“Oliver’s been watching videos of him and, although I’ve not seen much of him, we know that he only likes to throw between 30 and 40 shots-per-round and then when it gets to the 12th he seems to throw everything at it and use that reserve of energy in a last-ditch attempt to make an impression,” Butler continued.
“Because of that, our gameplan will be to take him out of his comfort zone and to increase the punch output to make him work at my pace and feel it in the mid-rounds.”
Butler’s link-up with Harrison came after he split amicably with former mentor Arnie Farnell and although he won a world title with Farnell, Butler says Harrison has brought a new dimension to his game.
“In the latter stages of being with Arnie, when I was stale and stuck in that rut, I know now from looking back at videos of myself that I neglected my own boxing and was too focused on my opponent.
“I went into the past few fights knowing that I was going to win, but this is a new level now, this fight, and I don’t want to go back to that level of boxing the kids I have in my past few fights.
“I’m looking a lot more now at the way I’m boxing, at my own work, and I’ve been having somebody watch me spar with the clickers [to count punch output].
“My in-fight management has to change massively and this is the first chance that I will get to show what I’m working on to improve myself.
“But I know that this fight will give me a platform and another world title shot is just around the corner if I win and I expect that I’ll look good doing so.”
Liam Williams, the British and Commonwealth super welterweight, will fight for the first time since last December in an eight-round contest.
He was scheduled to defend his belts at Harrow Leisure Centre last month, but the show was scrapped after a suitable challenger wasn’t found following the withdrawal of original opponent Nav Mansouri through an achilles injury.
The show also features Tom Stalker, who fights for the first time since his second draw with Craig Evans in December in a title fight, plus a pair of European title showdowns –– with Ryan Farrag defending his bantamweight bauble against Karim Guerfi and Jazza Dickens and Abigail Medina contesting the vacant crown at 122lbs –– and Zolani Tete defending his IBF International bantamweight title.
Meanwhile, Joe Costello (5-0, 3 KOs) will box for the second time in three weeks after he makes his return from a car accident on May 13 at the Premier Suite at Bolton’s Macron Stadium, while Hughie Fury, the undefeated heavyweight and cousin of world champion Tyson, and Declan Geraghty are also set for action.
And Kalam Leather, the brother of undefeated super lightweight Josh Leather (9-0, 3 KOs), will make his professional debut after signing a contract with Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions.
Elliot Foster is part of the BoxingScene.com UK news tea. Twitter: @FreelanceFoz