Home Boxing Interviews Iain Butcher is hoping for a British title shot in 2017 but...

Iain Butcher is hoping for a British title shot in 2017 but isn’t hanging around waiting

MGM Scotland’s Iain Butcher fights February 18 at the Lagoon Centre, Paisley – an opponent has still to be announced. Butcher had three good wins in 2016 with victories against Sergey Tasimov, Thomas Essomba and Joseafat Reyes.

The Jerviston boxer last fought on the 3rd of December 2016 against Joseafat Reyes; referee Kevin McIntyre scored the fight 59-56 to Butcher.

Struggling with the demands of everyday life can’t be easy for the Scottish boxer, he told Ringnews24.com:

“It’s very hard as I work night shifts. The week of that fight [Reyes], that was the most exhausted I had been, and I worked Monday night through till Friday morning – then I went straight to the weigh-in.

“I only had the Friday night off until the Saturday. So it was quite a tough week way fitting in the last bits of training. Obviously like you said, I have the wee boy there as well so it was quite tough.

“It’s quite tough on a lot of Scottish boxers because a lot of us are in the same boat.  A lot of us are full time work and trying to do the boxing as well.”

Butcher has ambitions to further his career and become a full time boxer:

“I would speak to them [MGM Scotland]. I am actually quite a guy who likes to work for what I’m earning.

“Nobody has got the say over me to what I did. Like a pull over me or anything like that. To work and do it, at least I know I’ve done it the hard way when I’ve achieved things or anything like. I don’t need to thank everybody or put it towards them, it’s all through hard work myself.

”As I say – if the opportunity came across, it’s something I would discuss and see what would be the best to do with it. If it didn’t suit me then I wouldn’t do it. If it did then – it would be better for me to be full time.“

Butcher is under contract with Sam Kynoch’s MGM Scotland. Discussing his current contract and what his future plans are, Butcher replied:

“I’ve only got ten months left currently with my contract with MGM at the end of this month. I’ve had people willing to discuss it with me, but, it’s not right to discuss it while I’m still contracted.

“So the people that have reached out to me or anything like – I’ve told them that I am contracted and I wouldn’t really speak to them until I was a free agent.  As I said, I might renew my contract with MGM.  It’s just one of them ones, but, I haven’t really spoken to anyone – I know there have been offers on the table to go elsewhere.

A domestic bust-up might be on the horizon:

“I read a couple of weeks ago Scott Allan said he would be willing to fight me. So, if Scott Allan would be willing to come down to super-flyweight or if the money was right I would go up to bantamweight – I would take that fight with both hands. I’ve done plenty of rounds with Scott; It would be a Scottish dust-up.

“I’m actually looking past that. It’s something I would look at if there was a title on the line and it could keep me busy and get me rankings. But, preferably I would like to go down the British title route but I don’t know what opponents are available and meet the criteria to box for the title.“

Speaking about his promoter’s plans, Butcher added:

“Sam has got a show on and I’m currently going to be on it on the 18th of February. And the British title went vacant so we have reached out to the board to see if I can be nominated to box any other opponent regarding that. If not, we’ve not really sat down and discussed it.”

MGM Scotland has recently had two events live on BoxNation – was TV publicity one of the reasons you signed with MGM?

“No, I had been with MGM before TV was even spoken about. When I spoke to them they provided the opportunities to get me better fights.

“I was the first Scottish boxer to sign for MGM. So, when I spoke to them there was no dates for TV or for TV to be there. It’s worked out better for me that they’ve managed to get TV and obviously I am going to get TV exposure now hopefully. It’s worked out good that I signed for them and that they’ve got the TV.”

It couldn’t have been an easy decision to leave Prospect Boxing:

“In the end it wasn’t really – I had a good relationship with Paul. But, Paul had a fall out with a couple of people who had the TV channels.

“It was kind of I was in the position, where Paul was willing to stop working with Tommy Gilmour on behalf of me as a boxer or work with another promoter or a manager to get me TV exposure.

“I was never going to get on TV, as Paul did that. Paul had too big a stable to walk away and let that happen.

“In the end up when I spoke to Paul about the reasons why I left.  I had to do the best for myself, but as I say I never fell out with Paul or left on bad terms. Paul understood the reasons and it’s just what I had to do for my own sake – it was just what was best for me.”

Sparring has been a concern and the level of sparring partners available to Butcher:

“I can mix it with boys a bit heavier all the time; that doesn’t really prepare me for the fights – I’m going in with guys that are naturally the same size as me or a bit smaller.

“I didn’t struggle but I had been doing a bit of sparring with Scott Allen. In the past and a couple of other MGM boys who are around about the same weight.

“Usually I need to travel and I travel quite a lot for sparring. That last camp I had to go down to Bolton to Joe Gallagher’s gym for some sparring with Paul Butler.

“It is a bit of an issue when its better sparring. I’m looking for to find out where am I in talks of levels – it is a bit on an issue then.

“I sparred with Paul Butler for the fight with Kevin Satchell and did a good few weeks sparring with Paul back then. It was good to see were Paul’s progressed and where I’ve progressed since then because that’s nearly four years down the line from that fight. It was good to see and good sparring for me – it lets me you know in levels of boxing were I am at and where I want to be at. It was good sparring and I held my own.”

Discussing his career so far, he reflected:

“My career has been back on track since 2016. I had a couple of injury’s and setbacks over the previous years.

“At one stage I was looking at where do I go? – It just wasn’t planning out the way we planned it out.

“But 2016 I had three good wins. One was meant to be for the commonwealth title – It was a good win over Thomas Essomba and got me back up there in the ranking. We have got a big 20017 ahead of us chasing titles.”

Your promoter Sam Kynoch said “I believe on his day he can beat any British flyweight and I believe he can compete well above British level and he will prove that in due course” – what do you take from those comments as a boxer?

“It’s all talk – but, Sam and that all know what I am capable of and I know that myself. Ive sparred with many champions, sparring’s different but I showed I can compete at that level and mix at these levels.

“Sam’s seen it, my coaches, my two brothers have seen in it. I know myself if deep down if I perform I can beat any fighter out there. If you get the right training camp and everything comes off for you know yourself deep inside if you’re going to win the fight or if you can compete at that level.

“I spoke with Sam and he has confidence in me.  It makes me believe if Sam’s negotiating a fight they know and believe I can win the fight. So it gives me confidence to go into the fight and know they believe in me, so I believe in myself. I’m not getting put in there for the sake of just making up numbers or to make a bill look good.”

Butcher started training camp for his February fight, he explains:

“I’ve just been ticking over Christmas – we boxed just in December. So we were just ticking over and keeping ourselves fresh over Christmas.

“I started back full camp on Monday there. I’m back into the full swing of things, started some light sparring and will start that up more over the next few weeks and see who’s available to travel for some better sparring to get me sharp and stuff. So far it’s going well and we will start picking up over the next couple of weeks.”

On the search for titles, Butcher added:

“We have got a fight in February. We will take it from that fight onwards if all goes well. If I get nominated for the British title then I will go down the British title route.

“If not, then when I spoke to same we spoke to Sam we have a brief chat about going down the international route.

“I waited a couple of years previous to this waiting on a British title shot that never happened. So, I won’t hang about for a British title shot if it comes up – It will be something I will go after. But, as I say after this fight we are chasing title fights it will only be title fights you will see me be in after this fight in February.”

Finally, Butcher had a message for his fans:

“Thanks for all the support, the messages I get on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks to a guy like yourself who gives me publicity and your time. Thanks to everybody who shows me support and follows my career.”