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Paul Butler ready for Naoya Inoue to battle for undisputed

Image: Paul Butler ready for Naoya Inoue to battle for undisputed

By Barry Holbrook: WBO bantamweight champion Paul Butler says he’d welcome a fight against IBF/WBA/WBC champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue next for the undisputed 118-lb championship following the Japanese superstar’s second-round TKO win over WBC champion Nonito Donaire on Tuesday night in Saitama, Japan.

Granted, it would be a tough fight for the 33-year-old Butler going up against Inoue, but he’s got the skills, chin, and the toughness to possibly win it.

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If Butler can take Inoue into the deeper waters, he could take advantage of the facial vulnerabilities that he showed in his first fight with Nonito Donaire.

Inoue (23-0, 2o  KOs) said immediately after the fight with Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs) that he wants to battle for the undisputed championship at bantamweight next.

If Inoue couldn’t get that fight, he said he’d move up to 122 to begin campaigning as a super bantamweight.

Butler (34-2, 15 KOs) is fresh off a 12-round unanimous decision win over Jonas Sultan last April.

“I hope he does want to try and be undisputed. It would be a massive occasion for me. It’d be an absolute honor to step in the ring with a pound-for-pound great,” said Paul Butler to Secondsout about his interest in fighting IBF/WBA/WBC bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue next for the undisputed 118-lb championship.

“Joe [Gallagher] will come up with a game plan. It’ll be a tough task, but it’s a task I’m willing to take.”

“I thought he was brilliant,” Butler said of Inoue’s second-round knockout win over Nonito Donaire on Tuesday night. “He’d obviously watched a lot of the first fight where Nonito had troubled him a few times, but he’s gone back and done his homework.

“I personally thought, he’d get him after seven rounds, but he nailed him in the first round. In the second round, he came out and jumped all over him. Like a good champion does, he finished him.

“I think if there was more time in that round, he would have done him in the first,” Butler said of Inoue. “I don’t think he recovered, and he jumped all over him.

“I think the left hook is what scrambled Nonito’s legs. I think the ref should have jumped in then. He gave him too much chance. I think he was hurt previous to the left hook, and then that left hook landed and scrambled his legs. I think the ref should have jumped in there, I think.

“He’s [Naoya] frightening with both hands. You got to save Donaire there. He’s [Donaire] had two wins since that [loss to Inoue in the World Boxing Super Series in November 2019], and he’s looked very good. So, I think it was how good Inoue is.

“Look at the size of him compared to the World Boxing Super Series three years ago. He looked massive tonight. He looked tiny against him the first time,” said Butler.

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