New IBF bantamweight titleholder Paul Butler is chasing a domestic showdown against fellow Englishman and WBA ‘regular’ holder Jamie McDonnell, according to British promoter Frank Warren.
Warren confirmed Monday that he has made an offer to Dennis Hobson, manager of Doncaster star McDonnell – THE RING’s No.7-ranked bantamweight – to face undefeated Butler (16-0, 8 knockouts), who last Saturday in Newcastle won a split decision to take the IBF strap from another compatriot, Stuart Hall.
It was only the 25-year-old Chester man’s second fight since stepping up to 118 pounds, yet Warren is adamant he is now ready for a showdown against 28-year-old McDonnell (24-2-1, 11 KOs), who ironically was stripped of the IBF belt last year after failing to meet a deadline to arrange a mandatory first defense.
"It's a natural fight, with added spice – two British ‘world’ champions at the top of their game,” said Warren. “BoxNation do everything possible to make the best fights happen and the new season will throw up some matches to prove that, and this would be a great match to whet the appetite.
“Paul Butler is undoubtedly an outstanding fighter with a huge following that will only get bigger and this is a fight that I am convinced he will win if his performance against Hall is anything to go by.”
One potential hitch to any deal being done is that McDonnell is now promoted by Warren’s bitter rival, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom, having split with Hobson Promotions (Hobson remains McDonnell's manager of record) over the botched negotiations that led to him losing his IBF title.
McDonnell fought for the first time under Hearn on the Froch-Groves II card at Wembley, with the 28-year-old stopping Thailand’s Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat in the tenth round.