Home Boxing News Paul Butler claims WBO interim bantamweight belt, Jason Moloney expresses desire to...

Paul Butler claims WBO interim bantamweight belt, Jason Moloney expresses desire to fight him

Paul Butler
Paul Butler vs Jonas Sultan. Photo credit: Probellum

WBO interim bantamweight champion Paul Butler has only just claimed the belt and challengers are already lining up to fight him.

The 33-year-old Butler 34-2 (14) was scheduled to face full WBO champion John Riel Casimero 31-4 (21) before the Filipino was forced to withdraw from the fight after breaching the British Boxing Board of Control’s protocols around making weight. He is now expected to be stripped of his title by the WBO and Butler to be elevated to full champion.

Butler claimed the vacant interim title against late replacement Jonas Sultan 18-6 (11) by unanimous decision at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England on Friday night. The scores were 116-112, 117-111 and 118-110.

“It’s been a long journey,” Butler said. “Dubai didn’t happen, Casimero didn’t happen again tonight but we had Sultan and for me he was a better opponent because he had beaten Casimero. We had 48 hours to make a gameplan and that is what I can do in 48 hours.

“I had to stay switched on, but now and again I wanted to stand there just to let him know he couldn’t just push me around. But you win the easy way and the easy way for me tonight was moving my feet, making him miss and making him pay.”

Australian contender Jason ‘Mayhem’ Moloney 23-2 (18) said before the fight that he would be keen to face the winner.

“I’ve got eyes on Butler vs Sultan this weekend in Liverpool,” Moloney said. “I feel I beat them both. I don’t know what’s going on with Casimero as world champion. He seems to be having issues and as I said before, I’m not in the business of waiting around for others, I want to be world champion at the next available opportunity.

“I respect all fighters, it takes a real man to get in a ring. I just feel I’m more experienced, I’m fresher and I have operated at a far higher level than Butler and Sultan, so if they get upgraded to the WBO world champion, I’d be happy to fight either of them next, whether that be on a big show in Australia, traveling to the UK or in the United States, it doesn’t really bother me. The outcome would be the same, Mayhem is coming for everyone!”

Moloney, who is ranked number three by the WBO, has only lost at the highest level. He was stopped in seven by Japanese star Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue 22-0 (19) in October 2020 and dropped a split decision to then-IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez 20-2 (13) two years earlier.

“Experience is the key, that’s the difference now,” Mooney said. “I’ve not only been in with world champions, I’ve been in with the pound-for-pound elite in Naoya Inoue and I know I can compete with the very best of them. That ring time is extremely hard to match for any fighter.

“I still to this day feel I beat Rodriguez years back… but I moved on and signing with Top Rank has been a blessing and I’m grateful to Tony Tolj and the team who put that all together and take care of my career. I have a great team that have always made wise moves for me in and out of the ring, and I believe they are the right people to land me another world title opportunity, that’s what I want next.

“I’d love a fight with Nonito Donaire, I’ve always said that, but my career isn’t going on hold to see what happens between Inoue and Doniare in their second fight. I want to be world champion in 2022. Given the opportunity, I’m confident I will achieve that.”