Non-league footballer Paul Butler going for the WBO World bantamweight boxing title: and he says he’d love to spar with Gary Neville

Who’s your club’s elected hard man? Cheshire non-league side Sutton Athletic probably win this round – with Paul Butler, who’s going for the WBO World bantamweight title this month. Take that, Sergio Ramos. 

Butler has held the IBF bantamweight title and IBF super-flyweight title, as well as British and Commonwealth super-flyweight titles across his career. On April 22, he takes to the ring for a huge homecoming fight against John Riel Casimero. Butler’s in good form, too, having won his last seven fights – he tells FourFourTwo that preparations have been good and that he’s ready for this one. But boxing was never his first love. 

A Liverpool fan who would finish his dinner as soon as he could to get out onto the grass with his mates, Butler was football mad and only set up a football team with his mate Tom so that they had something to do on Saturdays. It went better than he could have ever expected. 

(Image credit: Paul Butler)

“We entered our local league, started off at the bottom, won that undefeated and went straight to the Prem and we were the first team from Ellsmere Port, just outside Chester, to win the Chester Premier Division,” Butler recalls. “We won that three or four years on the bounce and got put forward for the Prem.

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