Paul Butler: ‘We’ve just got to frustrate Casimero and be sensible’


Paul Butler is prepared for Dubai showdown with fearsome John Riel Casimero, writes Elliot Worsell

BY the time Christmas comes round, Liverpool’s Paul Butler will be ready to say, with no small quantity of delight, that he has shared the ring with three of the most effective little males now we have seen in recent times. Yet, for Christmas, Butler desires greater than that. Rather than merely compete, he desires to be ready to say he has not solely sampled the most effective the super-flyweight and bantamweight divisions have to supply however crushed them. To obtain this, the 33-year-old should overcome the daunting problem of Filipino bantamweight John Riel Casimero, ranked No.3 and WBO belt-holder, on December 11 in Dubai.

“As soon as I got put in at number one [contender], I knew the WBO were going to make me mandatory and then I knew my team, MTK, were going to push for it,” Butler instructed Boxing News. “They pushed for it and now we’re right here. I’ve had a great period of time to put together for it and it’s come at a great time for me.

“Obviously Covid was no good for me. I ended up sitting out for a year, which was the longest time I’ve not boxed as a pro, and I found that difficult. But we’re back, we’re winning, we got made mandatory, and now this has come at the perfect time. I’m feeling good in the gym and I still feel 24 or 25 years of age. All my running, my swimming, my punch output, it’s right up there. If not the same, it’s better.”

Since beating José Aguilar two years in the past, Butler has, a lot to his frustration, boxed just twice. He beat Ryan Walker final October and then, in June of this 12 months, beat Willibaldo Garcia by way of 10-round split-decision.

“It wasn’t bad,” he stated of the Garcia efficiency. “It was a troublesome one to stand up for. I knew I had to begin shortly and transfer my toes however I knew he couldn’t take care of me. That’s why I stood in entrance of him after six or seven rounds and gave him photographs he shouldn’t have landed. Nothing harm, I didn’t really feel something, but it surely’s onerous to stand up for a struggle if you get per week and a half’s discover after the principle opponent pulls out.

“I did weeks and weeks of hard graft preparing to fight [Joseph] Agbeko, which would have been a slower night’s work than Garcia, but as soon as I watched Garcia I thought, Oh, what a nightmare. He was just relentless. Half the time he didn’t know what he was throwing himself or what he was trying to set up. But I had to try and read that and work off that. If it’s hard for him to understand what he’s about to throw, what chance have I got? I knew it would be a tough night’s work.”

In addition to the worry of being rusty, or maybe not having fun with the form of momentum thought of preferrred, Butler, 33-2 (20), will, on December 11, even have to deal with boxing outdoors the UK for the primary time as a professional when assembly Casimero. “I wouldn’t have minded it at the [Liverpool] Echo, with home advantage,” he stated, “however I don’t thoughts not having a lot of a crowd, both. It doesn’t trouble me within the slightest going to Dubai and solely having a handful of followers with me. I’ve by no means boxed outdoors of the UK as a professional, so I’m buzzing to be going to Dubai.

“Ever since I was a young kid I have been told, ‘Do not play up to the crowd.’ There are certain voices you hear in your corner during the fight. I hear my dad, Joe [Gallagher, trainer], my sisters, my brother, my girlfriend. You hear people like that, people whose voices you recognise, but other than that it’s just noise. The noise might go up when you land a big shot, which is nice, but I’ve been taught since I was 11 or 12 never to play up to the crowd. I was told if I played up to the crowd I’d get beaten.”

Always keen to take a look at himself in opposition to the most effective, Butler will, in Dubai, use a bit of what he learnt within the ring in opposition to Zolani Tete [in 2015] and Emmanuel Rodríguez [in 2018] to flip his fortunes round and upset Casimero, 31-4 (21). Only then will he really feel comfy evaluating these three world-class abilities.

“Casimero’s a very good fighter,” Butler stated. “He’s a three-weight world champion and he’s definitely no mug. He can whack.

“I didn’t watch an excessive amount of of the [Guillermo] Rigondeaux struggle as a result of it was so uninteresting, however that was most likely due to Rigondeaux’s ways on the evening. Casimero is nice and we all know that. We’ve just got to frustrate him and we’ve got to be sensible. If I’m not sensible, it might all go unsuitable. I don’t need to begin the way in which I began in opposition to Rodriguez: recreation plan out the window in spherical one after being dropped twice. This time hopefully it’s quite a bit totally different.

“I believe technically Rodriguez and Tete have been excellent. Tete was onerous to hit. I do know Casimero has crushed Tete [TKO 3], however kinds make fights and Tete was all unsuitable for me that evening. I used to be nonetheless a child; that was solely my 18th struggle.

“I didn’t even have a game plan for that fight, if I’m honest. But since I’ve joined Joe, I’ve had game plans going into every fight. With the right game plan, I’ve just got to go in there and do a job on December 11.”

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