Stuart Hall-Paul Butler set for June 7
Darlington’s IBF Bantamweight champion Stuart Hall (16-2-2) and Ellesmere Port’s unbeaten Paul Butler (15-0) will meet at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena on Saturday June 7. Subject to final approval from the IBF, it will be Hall’s second voluntary defence.
Hall said: “Butler is a very good fighter, and his performances have got himself into this position, but he's also talked himself into this fight by making derogatory comments and I'm really looking forward to making him eat his words. I'll be too big, too strong and he'll regret getting this chance.
“I've worked hard to become world champion and I won't be losing the title. I'll take care of Butler before moving onto my mandatory challenger later in the year. This will be an amazing occasion for the North East; the support I got in my last fight was incredible and myself and the fans will do the region proud again.”
Butler, 25, hasn’t put a foot wrong since turning professional in 2011. He specialises in cutting through opponents with body shots. After campaigning at super-flyweight, capturing the British and Commonwealth titles, Butler made his bantamweight debut last month against Argentinian Oreste Bernabe Nieva, winning by fourth round stoppage.
Hall represents a step up in class, but Butler says he’s more than ready.
“It’s the fight I’ve wanted and I know I’ve got the skill and firepower to beat Hall and take the world title from him,” said Butler.
“Hall’s a good, strong, fighter. He's the world champion and I respect him for that, but all respect will go out of the window on the night and I will do my job and I’ll go out and smoke his boots.
“To fight for the world title is every fighter's dream and I’ll realise that dream on June 7.”
Many will have Butler down as a clear favourite, but Hall’s promoter Dennis Hobson is confident of victory for his man.
Hobson said: “Stuart has got everything you need in a world champion. He's incredibly strong, he's brave and his boxing skills are hugely underrated. He'll be on top of Butler from the opening bell and I'm confident he'll have too much for him. I'm very pleased that we're able to make this voluntary defence before Stuart takes on his mandatory challenger later in the year. The North East fans are the best in the country and I know they'll back Stuart again and make this a fantastic occasion.”