7 months ago

Paul Butler had been a two-time world bantamweight champion for less than two days before he returned to his other role in boxing – as an amateur coach with his boyhood club.

Butler defeated Jonas Sultan at Probellum Liverpool last Friday night with a career-best performance to claim the WBO interim world title but by Sunday morning, he was acting as a cornerman at a national amateur tournament.

The dedicated Butler was also back with the young hopefuls at Wirral CP Boxing Club, close to his Ellesmere Port home, on Monday afternoon, helping put close to 100 budding boxers through their paces with the team of coaches and offering his expert advice.

The 33-year-old is fully expecting the WBO to elevate him to full champion this week, after former title holder John Riel Casimero was forced out of their fight having contravened weight-making rules.

Butler, who first won the bantamweight crown in 2014, is now eyeing a shot at either Nonito Donaire or Naoya Inoue, hold the other three world titles between them.

“I went out on Saturday night and watched the Tyson Fury fight but the next morning I was up and we were in Liverpool because the club had four kids in the England Boxing School Championships, so I was out there in the corners with them,” explained Butler. 

“It’s something I enjoy and being part of this gym is something I grew up doing and I just think a little bit of help can go a long way.”

He added: “When I walked into the gym on Monday afternoon, they all just started clapping.  I was a little bit late because I’d fallen asleep on the couch, from a lack of sleep at the weekend.  But I walked in the gym and they started clapping, so I was buzzing with that.

“I grew up watching Paul ‘Livewire’ Lloyd win British, Commonwealth and European bantamweight titles and fighting for world titles, and I always wanted to do it. Now I see these kids and it is nice to pass on a bit of knowledge during the week.”

Butler was the massive underdog with the bookmakers heading into his fight with Sultan but after 12 rounds, he was a clear with all three of the ringside judges, at the M&S Bank Arena.

“I watched it back the next day on and the performance was bang on,” Butler said.

“You’ve got appreciate how good the performance was considering we only had 48 hours to come up with game plan to beat Sultan and my coach Joe Gallagher and I, literally, only had 15 minutes of throwing shots, moving my feet in the right direction, and practicing catching the shots he would throw.

“From the very first bell, you keep hearing Nick Peet say on commentary: ‘I don’t think I’ve seen Paul blink’ but I couldn’t because I had to stay switched on.

“All along in the build-up, Casimero kept saying about me: ‘He’s a C-class fighter’ but I don’t think that was the performance of a C-class fighter, doing that to someone who has beaten him!”



When Butler is not focused on the young amateurs at Wirral CP Boxing Club, he has allowed himself to consider who he could face next and there are two names at the very top of his list: Donaire and Inoue.

“That’s what I want,” he said.

“Listen, if I’ve been upgraded to full world champion, which is hopefully by Friday, then it’s a no brainer to go out to Japan and watch them two, if they get it on as has been reported.  If that fight happens, the winner will have one belt left to try and win so why not box me for all the marbles?

“They will both go down as greats. Inoue is pound-for-pound top five now so to step in the ring with him would be an honour and doing so for all of the marbles would add some extra spice to it.

“And if I get out to Japan I’ll fly home the next day to make sure I was back in the gym for the next training session with the kids!”