Unbeaten Alex Rutter will need to be mentally switched-on when he faces Brad Botham at Manchester’s Victoria warehouse on September 17.

Rutter and Botham will headline for the vacant Central Area super-featherweight belt; with ‘Beefy’ Botham the third scheduled opponent Rutter has been slated to face after both Michael Gomez Jnr and Kallum De’Ath previously withdrew.

A late replacement, Botham’s patchy 4-4-1 (1) record belies his reputation as an ‘away’ fighter renowned for pushing opponents all the way. The 22-year-old Yorkshireman went 10 rounds in a losing bid for the Central Area lightweight crown in 2015—while Rutter has never been past six rounds—and will eye his Mancunian opponent’s scalp as the perfect launch pad for his own career.

Manager and promoter Steve Wood is eyeing up a terrific all-Manchester first defence for Rutter against Chris Conwell on the proviso that he comes through against Botham. With that potential prize on the line, Alex says he won’t be distracted and is fully focused on the task in hand.

“I’m just buzzing, because I didn’t know if I’d be fighting or not for the Central Area belt,” said Rutter, 23. “So when Steve said it was still on I was buzzing; I can’t wait for it.

“I’ve watched a bit of Botham on YouTube and he looks like a game kid who comes forward and likes a fight. So he’s tough, but I’m very confident of winning and looking good. He’s a decent opponent, I wouldn’t say he was a harder fight than Kallum De’Ath, but I’m going to have to be on my game.

“There’s no chance that I’ll be taking my eye off the ball; I’m prepared the best I could be. I’m not looking past this next fight but Conwell would be another big fight. He’s a local lad and I’ve sparred hundreds of rounds with Chris [Conwell] and he’s a top lad. It would be a great fight because our spars are good, but I can’t look past this one. Topping the bill is something I’ve wanted to do since turning pro and I can’t wait for this fight against Botham.”

VIP Promotions presents an evening of boxing at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse on September 17.

Headlining will be Middleton’s Alex Rutter versus Yorkshire’s Brad Botham for the vacant Central Area super-featherweight title.

Appearing on the undercard will be Manchester’s Zelfa Barrett; Oswaldtwistle’s Adam Machaj; Liverpool’s James Farrell; Flixton’s John Telford; Failsworth’s Jake Bulger; Salford’s Chris Monaghan and Luke Evans; Sale’s Ben Sheedy; Ashton under Lyne’s Lee Oldham; Gorton’s Lee Carter; Manchester’s Arthif Daniel, and debutant Adam Evans.

Tickets priced at £30 (general), £50 (ringside) are available from all boxers, or at vipboxing.tv

The show will also be streamed live and free at vipboxing.tv