Former IBF bantamweight champion Paul Butler returns to the ring this weekend as part of a stacked MTK Global card, ‘Baby Faced Assassin’ Butler is looking to build some momentum ahead of another charge towards world title honours in 2021 taking on Ryan Walker over 8 rounds.
Luke of SimBoxx caught up with Butler to get his thoughts on the fight, the future & more...
So Paul it’s fight week, your first bout of 2020, how excited are you to get back in the ring?
Yeah first fight this year, it’s been a crazy year I honestly didn’t think I’d box this year until I signed with MTK, so I’m really looking forward to getting out and putting in a good performance.
How was the whole lockdown period for you? How did you manage to keep motivated & focused with little knowledge of any fight dates to work towards?
Lockdown wasn’t too bad for me, for the first 3 weeks I carried on training doing what I could do, running & hitting the bag in the garden etc but then realised this was going to be a lot longer than I thought so I just relaxed, done nothing for a month or so. Sometimes your body needs that, I’ve been boxing since I was 10 years old it’s not very often you get to give your body a good rest like that. When professional athletes were allowed back into gym in small numbers I got back in and started ticking over again, with no date I was in 3 times a week and watching the weight. It was hard watching the weight because I knew I had no date to work towards but I didn’t want to balloon up!
How excited was you to link up with MTK Global? They’re rapidly becoming one of the most prominent names within the world of boxing with a number of high profile fighters on the books, with them board alongside the guidance of trainer Joe Gallagher another world title charge could soon be on the horizon?
Yeah very exciting, it came from nowhere really, I was having a game of golf and my phone rang with the opportunity to do a deal with them. No brainer really for me with what they are doing and achieving in the sport of boxing. The goal is obviously a world title, but this is Ryan Walker’s world title fight on Sunday so there is no looking past a hungry fighter! I have to be 100% switched on and take care of business.
How much do you know of Ryan Walker as an opponent? As you say this is a huge opportunity for him to cause the upset & set up big things for himself in 2021.
I’ve watched a few of Ryan’s fights, well I’ve watched parts of his fights with different opponents. I’m not a fan of sitting there and watching it all the way through. I see what I need to then that’s enough for me, Joe (Gallagher) study’s and then we go to work with a game plan. He’s a live opponent that had his chance against Le (McGregor), probably didn’t think he’d get a second bite of the cherry so soon and will want to take it with both hands.
2019 was quite a busy year for you, boxing on a number of small hall shows & picking up 4 wins, how satisfied was you with being out so frequently, keeping busy at this stage of your career?
It was a frustrating year to be honest, nothing to really box for, I boxed as a reserve on the WBSS so that was a big event. Other than that it was 6 rounders I think, tough to get up for really with fights you know your pretty much going to win but at least I was active and got out, a lot of fighters are just sat waiting around for that one opportunity.
Again without overlooking Ryan Walker, would it be fair to say getting a win on Sunday & moving onto bigger fights on bigger platforms in 2021 is the motivation now rather than simply keeping active?
Yeah 100% I know if I deal with Ryan Sunday I’m moving on to big things in 2021. Don’t get me wrong I’d like to have one more in December so I’ve got good momentum going into the New Year.
Thanks for your time Paul, best of luck Sunday & we’ll speak again soon!
You can catch Paul Butler v Ryan Walker as part of a stacked card this Sunday, October 18th live on the IFL TV Youtube channel
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