Paul Buter has been in thirty-six fights since turning professional, but will be facing his comfortably toughest test to date, as he travels to Japan to take on Naoya Inoue.
Butler won the interim WBO title as he outpointed Jonas Sultan to score a unanimous decision victory back in April, and his belt has since been upgraded to the full world title. The 34-year-old’s his first title defence will be up against ‘The Monster’ Inoue, as Butler stands in the way of Inoue’s seemingly inevitable undisputed crown.
Inoue is undefeated with twenty knockouts in his twenty-three fights and comes into the fight as a huge favourite.
Having held world titles at both light-fly and super-fly, it seems the Japanese phenomenon has found his optimum weight at bantamweight, where he has brushed aside all of his challengers, including the likes of Nonito Donaire, in one of the standout performances of 2022.
Now, with Inoue widely expected to move up to super-bantamweight, he seeks to cement his legacy in the division with an undisputed title, with many fans seeing a win over Butler as a formality.
Twelve of Inoue’s last thirteen fights have ended by knockout, with the only exception being Donaire, who he then knocked out in the rematch. Although Butler himself is undefeated in eight fights and would love nothing more than to shock the world and become undisputed himself, he would earn a great deal of respect simply by reaching the final bell.
Butler’s confidence has yet to be knocked, as he travels with great self-belief and a solid team backing him up, in the form of trainer Joe Gallagher and former world champion Scott Quigg.
However, to add to the stress of fighting one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of the generation, Butler has had a difficult journey to Asia, with him and his team missing their flights to Japan through issues at the airport.
Nevertheless, the Brit remains sure of himself and believes that he can be the man to end Inoue’s unbeaten streak and that confidence showed in promotional video for the fight from PXB Official.
“I am not intimidated by anything, so I’ve got a good chance.”
“I believe everyone is there to be beat, records are DJ’s. I’m going there to win.”
The fight will take place in Tokyo on Tuesday, with ringwalks around 10:00am GMT and is available for on Kayo Sports for $29.95.