Paul Butler Now Meets Willibaldo Garcia
on Friday’s #MTKFightNight
Paul Butler will now go up against dangerous Mexican Willibaldo Garcia for the vacant WBO International bantamweight title on Friday’s massive #MTKFightNight.
The must-see card takes place at the University of Bolton Stadium this week, and will be broadcast live on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on IFL TV.
Former world champion Butler (32-2, 15 KOs) was originally set to face Joseph Agbeko at the event, before visa problems forced the Ghanaian out of the contest.
Mexico’s Garcia (12-4-1, 6 KOs) has now stepped in, and he heads into the fight on a great run of form having lost just one of his last 13 fights, and picking up wins over Raul Esquer and Oscar Nery Plata in his last two outings.
Butler said: “I’m really happy to be back in the ring. I’ve been ready for a while and been wanting to box since February, so now that the time is here I’m buzzing.
“It’s nice to still be fighting after the Agbeko problems. I’ve trained solid for 10 weeks so it’s good I’m still getting a fight. It’s frustrating as I’ve trained for a certain person for so long, but I have to be fully focused on getting the win on Friday night.
“I’ve had a look at who I’m boxing and he’s a tougher fighter than Agbeko. He is game, comes to win and doesn’t stop throwing shots, plus he’s been in with some good opponents.
“I’m buzzing there’s some fans coming to watch too. I’m gutted it’s not full capacity but hopefully that will be next, and it will be nice to hear fans in the arena this time.
“The win over Ryan Walker last time out was pretty routine. I felt good in there, but maybe switched off a couple of times and could have upped the gears. It was a weird feeling boxing In front of no fans for the first time and it was tough to step it up now and again.
“I’m just really happy to be back in contention for a world title. This is why I signed with MTK Global for these big opportunities. They’ve delivered so now I need to step up and deliver for them.
“Bantamweight is a red hot division at the moment, stacked with class fighters. Even the British champion Lee McGregor is knocking on the door for world honours. It’s definitely one of the hottest weight classes out there at the minute with one of the pound-for-pound stars in Naoya Inoue holding two of the world titles.
“Hosea Burton is on this card too and he has been great to train with. We’ve pushed each other through every training session, in the gym and on the track. It’s been a hard camp but we are both more than ready to go on Friday night.”
Elsewhere on Friday’s action-packed card, Jay Harris and Ricardo Sandoval meet in a final eliminator for the IBF flyweight title, Hosea Burton takes on Liam Conroy in a final eliminator for the British light-heavyweight title, Gary Cully fights Viorel Simion, Pierce O’Leary returns against Jan Marsalek, Jordan Reynolds faces Jan Ardon, Tyrone McCullagh goes up against Brett Fidoe, Blane Hyland squares off with Reiss Taylor, and Inder Bassi collides with Chris Adaway.