Paul Butler will have home advantage when he challenges John Riel Casimero for the WBO bantamweight title at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool.
Boxing Scene were first to break the news last night after they reported that the governing body had approved the mandatory fight.
The two were scheduled to face one another in Dubai last month but due to illness the champion withdrew at the last minute. Butler had been offered an interim title fight on the Probellum show against Joseph Agbeko but turned the opportunity down deciding instead to wait for another chance.
Butler, 33, will look to become a two-time champion having beat Stuart Hall in 2014 to win the IBF belt. The ‘Baby Faced Assassin’ hoped to become a two-weight world champion within nine months when he vacated his title to take on Zolani Tete for the South African’s IBF super-flyweight title.
Butler came unstuck in round 8 when Tete put his man down and finished the job.
Speaking to Boxing Social prior to last month’s cancellation, Butler said: “When I won a world title in 2015 everything came a little bit too soon for me. I was on that hype train and if you sit back and watch it, it was very entertaining and it was a nice rush to get to the top, but it was too soon.”
Today, we got his reaction to the news that he will back in front of his home support to fight for a world title.
“I’m absolutely buzzing it’s back here in Liverpool. The reaction I’ve had from people in the town the last day or two asking for tickets has been mad!
“All the drama that went on in Dubai I suppose will only help me over here. It will be a very hostile week for him [Casimero] because of what he done in Dubai. Everyone knows he’s played a blinder going to the hospital.
“Liverpool will be bouncing on April 23, and I can’t wait to get in there. 12-week countdown. Let’s go!”
Casimero is no stranger to fighting in the UK. The 33-year-old Filipino comfortably handled Zolani Tete by third round stoppage to win the WBO strap in Birmingham.
Since then he has made two defences against Duke Micha and Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Butler now has the chance to stop any plans that Casimero has of unifying with Naoya Inoue or taking on Nonito Donaire in an all-Filipino grudge match.