Will Paul Butler make history in the Echo Arena?
Undefeated super flyweight Paul Butler 17-0 (8KO) is attempting to make history on Friday night when he bids to become a two weight world champion. Butler is trying to become the first British boxer since Bob Fitzsimmons in 1911 to win a world title in a lighter weight class than the one he has just won a title in. Butler is taking on the tough South African fighter Zolani Tete 19-3 (17KO) in his home city of Liverpool in the Echo Arena for his IBF title.
Butler first became IBF bantamweight champion with a hard fought victory over Stuart Hall in Newcastle. Butler came away with the split decision in a fight that could have gone either way but the judges gave the verdict to Butler. Butler had moved up in weight for the opportunity but he could still easily make the super flyweight weight limit so he moved back down and relinquished the title in my bid to challenge for Tete’s title.
The fight was first agreed for October 25th at the Echo Arena, but unfortunately Tete broke his hand and the fight got cancelled. The fight was under contract though so Butler has had to wait until now to get his shot. Butler still boxed that night and won a wide points decision over Ismael Garnica. Butler was disappointed to not get his shot that night but he has kept himself focused by having the fight with Garnica and remaining in a tough training camp.
Tete is no stranger to fighting on the road as he picked up the vacant world title in Japan over undefeated fighter Teiru Kinoshita. Tete has also boxed in Mexico and Argentina so he will be no stranger to a hostile crowd. Tete has come to Liverpool with great confidence that he is going to take home the world title. Tete is extremely tall for the weight coming in at 5 foot 9. That’s about 5 inches taller than most at the weight. He has a sizeable reach advantage over Butler and he’s a southpaw. On top of that Tete has all round good boxing ability and the desire to keep hold of the title. Butler is going to have to be at his best to win the title.
Butler has had good preparation for this fight with a lot of southpaw sparring. Although he hasn’t boxed a southpaw professionally he will have the confidence of the sparring sessions coming into the fight. Butler believes that he is a lot better than anybody Tete has been in with and is very determined to secure his second world title. Butler has had a great career so far and by potentially making history at the Echo Arena he will become one of the best fighters in Britain.
Although Butler fights at a lower weight, nobody can deny that he has great talent. It will be a massive win if he can get that world title and it would be great for his Liverpool fans to do it at home. Butler has been waiting for this opportunity for a while and it would be amazing if he could do it on a very entertaining card. Also on the bill there is Derry Mathews, Jazza Dickens, Kevin Satchell, Liam Smith, Tom Stalker and Jack Catterall who are all in good fights.
Article by Tam Darkes-Seddon