Matt Bevan (@MBevs68)
Ellesmere Port super-flyweight Paul Butler (19-1, 10KO’s) will look to continue his comeback since his stoppage defeat in March to Zolani Tete, with a win over experienced Romanian Silvio Olteanu (15-8-1, 6KO’s) at the Manchester Arena on December 19th.
“The Baby Faced Assassin” has won twice, both stoppages, since his March loss and knows that he will be in a tough fight with Olteanu, who has held the European flyweight belt and lost a split decision in Japan for the WBA world title to Daiki Kameda back in 2010.
Butler lost his unbeaten record this year to the superb South African Zolani Tete, who stunningly stopped him in the eighth round at the Echo Arena in Liverpool back in March, when Butler challenged him for his IBF super-flyweight title.
The former IBF bantamweight ruler claims he has learned plenty from the defeat and it has changed some parts of his training as well. He also admits he may have underestimated the South African too, but is looking forward to returning to the big cards.
“Preparation has been going well and I’m ticking over nicely ahead of the 19th December. Olteanu is a former European champion and challenged for a world title, so he knows his way around a ring and therefore I have to be at my best.
“It will be difficult at times, as he’s smaller than me and will be hard to close down. He’ll make me work for all three minutes of every round, but Arnie Farnell, my coach, has watched a lot of him and we’re confident we can break him down and make a statement by being the first person to stop him.
“It’s fantastic to be back on the big cards and it’s the first time really since I lost to Tete. He was a real special talent and I’ve learned so much from it. I now know I can’t just expect that it will all fall into place, as the top fighters won’t let it happen.
“I probably underestimated him a little bit, but he stuck to his gameplan well and got the job done. I’ve changed some bits now, mainly around my defence and closing the gap better, but I don’t think I’ll come up against much harder punchers than him.”
The 27-year-old knows that should he get past Olteanu, then his likely fight with Jamie Conlan (15-0, 9KO’s) should come next, although Butler remarks that the Belfast man’s camp are doing their best to stall his career by holding off on the fight.
Butler remains less than impressed with Conlan’s last couple of opponents and thinks that “The Mexican’s” fight with Junior Granados in Dublin back in July should have been stopped in the seventh round when Conlan hit the deck twice.
The Frank Warren promoted star assures Instant Boxing that if he does meet him MGM managed rival that it wouldn’t last longer than six rounds, as he wouldn’t get up from the body shots that Butler would be landing on him.
“With the win over Olteanu, I’ll move up the WBO rankings and then we can finally get the fight with Conlan on next year. But, they seem to be saying they want one or two more fights then it can happen, but I’m not waiting around for him, they’re stalling my career enough. If he doesn’t want to lose, I’ll move on to my third world title fight.
“The last two fights he’s been in have been poor. He made the Granados fight so hard for himself, apart from the last three rounds where he looked pretty good at times. It should probably have been stopped in the seventh, but in a way it made him look like a warrior.
“As for the last guy, he was shocking. He didn’t want to be there, as soon as Conlan touched him, so what can you learn from that? I said at ringside that night, it shouldn’t go past two or three, but it went four.
“I promise that if we ever meet, it won’t go past six rounds. He got knocked down twice to body shots by a guy who has fought at 7 stone 10. What is going to happen when I hit him with those shots? The answer is he won’t get back up. There is some hype around the fight, which i don’t get, as it’s a straight forward one for me.”