Unbeaten British super-flyweight champion Paul Butler knows he is in for a tough fight tonight at Wembley Arena, when he challenge’s Nigeria’s big punching Commonwealth champion Yaqub Karim.
A former ABA champion and star amateur, Butler, turned pro in December 2010 and has breezed through the domestic 115lbs/8st 3lbs division to claim the British title in just his 9th fight, a mission that he set out to do, win it in under ten fights.
A 1st round KO over Liverpool’s John Donnelly with a sickening body shot, saw him lift the title, becoming champion after two years a pro. “I always wanted to become British champion in under 10 fights and I did it in my 9th so I was very happy.” Butler told BritishBoxers.
“Now I want to be the first super-flyweight to defend the British title three times and win it outright. No one has done it yet at this weight.
“I thought I’d be defending the British title a few times and then maybe challenge for the Commonwealth a bit later down the line, but it’s happening now while I’ve got the British, so I can win that and then defend both my belts against British fighters, as British and Commonwealth champion.”
Since claiming the title in November 2012, Butler has had one fight, a 4th round stoppage of Sheffield’s Anwar Alfadli last month.
The Twenty-four-year-old from Elesmere Port who is trained by Manchester coach and former fighter Anthony Farnell, headed to London this weekend admitting that he doesn’t know a great deal about the champion Karim, but his experience tells him that Nigerian boxer’s cannot be taken lightly. They are tough competitors, always come to fight and Butler (10-0 3KOs) knows that Karim will not want to be leaving the UK without his belt back around his waist.
But non the less he is confident of taking his Commonwealth belt to go alongside his British one. “To be honest I don’t know a lot about Karim, I couldn’t get any footage of him.” admitted Butler.
“I know that hes had 13 contests, lost his first 2, and of his last 10 opponents, he’s knocked-out 7, so I think he can punch a bit.
“But everybody knows what you get with Nigerian boxers, he’s gonna be tough, I think he will be there for the 12 rounds, hes not gonna come over here and give up his Commonwealth title easily.
“I know if I was going over there to his country as Commonwealth champion, I wouldn’t want to be getting on a flight back home without my Commonwealth title.
“He’ll be training hard and he’ll be coming to win, I know it’s going to be a tough fight. But I’ll listen to my trainer Arnie and go in there and get the job done.”
Karim won the Commonwealth title in August in 2011 with an eighth round stoppage of Cobbina Johnson.