It’s a case of third time for lucky for promoter Steve Wood after finally matching Alex Rutter against Yorkshire’s Brad Botham for the Central Area super-featherweight title at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse on September 17.

Wood thought he had previously secured the services of both Michael Gomez Jnr and Kallum De’Ath only for both to withdraw—De’Ath with a neck injury, and Gomez deciding his future is at a lower weight. Now, with Botham finally nailed down as the man in the opposite corner, Wood is anticipating a hard night’s work for Middleton’s Rutter.

‘Beefy’ Botham, who has four reverses on his nine-fight record but has never been halted, will see this unexpected slot as the perfect chance to cause an upset. And with late-sub Sean Lewis doing exactly that against Adam Ismail on Wood’s recent Wigan show (September 3), the VIP Promotions’ chief is warning Rutter to be fully-focused.

“Botham is a game kid and he comes to have a fight,” said Wood. “Alex has trained really hard for 10 weeks now and he was disappointed and down after both Gomez and De’Ath pulled out. So it’s good that we’ve managed to get him a durable, hard fight and he can now still show the fans the improvements he’s made since being with trainer Pat Barrett.

“Alex is currently 9-0 and, from my point of view, I’d obviously like to see him win and then defend against Chris Conwell in November in a great Manchester-derby fight. That’s the plan, but Sean Lewis showed when he stepped in at the last minute and beat Ismail for the Central Area welterweight title that nothing can be taken for granted. We need to make sure Alex is switched on and I’ve spoken to him about that.

“This is still a hard fight for him and he’s got to deliver.” 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 Keep updated on VIP Promotions’ news by visiting vipboxing.tv or follow on Twitter @vipboxing and Facebook.