Paul Butler has spoken out about his recent defeat to Naoya Inoue in their undisputed fight, and described the pound for pound star as the “Canelo of the bantamweights.”
In an honest interview with the Ring Magazine, Butler explained there was simply nothing he could do to compensate for the wide gap in levels between himself and Inoue.
“When you’re in with the top operators and they want to up it, they up it, and there’s nothing I can do about it, there’s not much I could do with him other than not letting him hit me clean.”
“It’s like me getting in the ring with an amateur; I know where to put them and manoeuvre them around the ring. I’m not saying I’m an amateur. I’m a world champion, but he’s a great. He’s the Canelo of the bantamweights. He’s very good at what he does.”
“It’s difficult when you’ve got a pound-for-pound great who will go down as one of the all-time greats, in my opinion.”
Butler’s safety first approach, although preventing him from landing any meaningful punches of his own, did manage to somewhat limit Inoue’s offence for large portions of the fight.
However ‘The Monster’ backed the Brit up against the ropes in the eleventh round and unleashed a vicious combination that quickly brought proceedings in his native Japan to a close.
The victory added Butler’s WBO title to the WBC, WBA and IBF belts already held by Inoue, making him the first undisputed bantamweight world champion of the four belt era.
The 29 year old is widely expected to move up to super bantamweight in 2023 in pursuit of world honours at a remarkable fourth weight class, with fans on social media already clamouring for a clash against unified 122lb champion Stephen Fulton.