Butler clinches WBO interim with scintillating Sultan showing

Paul Butler secured his second world title with a unanimous decision win.

The Ellesmere Port bantamweight clinched the vacant WBO interim title on Friday night at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.

Butler outpointed Jonas Sultan on the banks of the River Mersey, atop a card promoted by Probellum, taking the belt with scores of 116-112, 118-110 and 117-111.

“I had 48 hours to get a game plan together,” said Butler, who was initially set to face the current champion Johnriel Casimero before he was made unavailable to fight by the British Boxing Board of Control.

Butler, the former IBF champion at the weight who outpointed Stuart Hall before relinquishing to go down in weight only to be knocked out by Zolani Tete, made a bright start against Casimero’s fellow Filipino Sultan, producing a great variety of punches and finding the target with combinations as Sultan struggled to land anything substantial.

Sultan started the sixth well, but Joe Gallagher-trained Butler, utilising fine footwork and solid boxing skills, kept making his opponent lunge in and miss.

‘One Punch’ had some success at the end of the eighth and had his best round in the ninth, but could not build on that as Butler regained control to secure a dominant victory.

Butler was first scheduled to meet Casimero in Dubai in December last year, but the fight fell through when Casimero failed to make weight.

They were then due to meet on Friday, but Casimero breached British Boxing Board of Control rules by using a sauna to lose weight against Board medical protocol.

It is understood that the WBO will upgrade Butler to full world champion after Casimero failed to submit a show cause letter to the sanctioning body as to why the title shouldn’t be declared vacant.

“It’s unbelievable. What a feeling,” Butler concluded after getting the biggest and most important victory of his career to date. “I’ve waited a long time to become a two-time world champion.”

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