Over in Liverpool late on Friday night we saw Englishman Paul Butler (34-2, 15) claim one of the most important wins of his career, as he out pointed Filipino Jonas Sultan (18-6, 11) and claimed the WBO "interim" Bantamweight title.
The bout, which was put on on very short notice, was made when the BBBof C refused to allow Johnriel Cassimero to defend the WBO title against Butler, the mandatory challenger, after he was caught using a sauna. As a result Sultan replaced his countryman, and actually the bout as the betting favourite.
The opening round really so very, very, very little from either man as both looked to see what the other hand. In round 2 however the fight slowly started to come alive as Sultan began to come forward, pressing, and looking to make it into a fight whilst Butler boxed on the move, picked his shots well and really showed what he could do a boxer-mover. Rounds 2 and 3 were some of the best of the fight, with both men having moments, and both showing that their tactics could have success.
Sadly for Sultan after round 4 his limitations and gameplan began to look very predictable. He did little to cut the distance and set things up, instead looking to land single big shots, without creating the opportunities to land them. Instead Sultan was often finding himself being tagged by counters, missing and being made to look slow and clumsy, whilst Butler landed sharp, crisp shots that didn't have much on them, but were accurate.
Through much of the middle portion of the bout the action really was all Butler as he looked levels above Sultan, who sadly didn't change anything. It was the same tactic of trudge forward, chasing Butler, rather than cutting the ring off. He never looked capable of timing the Englishman, or putting together combinations with any regularity. It seemed that Sultan's best chance of winning was Butler tiring himself out with all the movement.
It seemed in round 9, that Butler starting to feel the tempo of the action, and it gave Sultan one of his best rounds, and there did, for a few moments, seem like their could be a sting in the tale. Sadly though Sultan couldn't replicate the success in rounds 10 or 11 as Butler created a lot of space, picked his moments and picked up the rounds, even standing and fighting Sultan at times in those rounds as he looked to prove a point.
Going into the final round Sultan needed a knockout, and it never came. It never looked likely to come. Instead Butler did what he needed to to play safe, and take the fight to the final bell, and the scorecards.
The scores were read out, rather hilariously, as 16-12, 18-110 and 117-111, with the ring announcer seemingly a bit clueless. Though all the scores made it clear that Butler had won a wide decision and the WBO interim Bantamweight title, which may be upgraded in the coming weeks, pending a WBO decision onthe status of John Riel Casimero.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.