Paul Butler and Emmanuel Rodriguez will fight on the undercard of Tony Bellew and David Haye's rematch

Last Updated April 11 2018, 13:35Boxing

Paul Butler is to fight Puerto Rico's Emmanuel Rodriguez for the vacant IBF bantamweight title he once held on the undercard of Tony Bellew's May 5 rematch with David Haye.

The 29-year-old from Cheshire has been rebuilding his career since his only defeat - to Zolani Tete at super-flyweight in 2015 shortly after vacating that title - and can become a world champion for the second time at London's O2 Arena.

Since that loss he has changed promoters from Frank Warren to Matchroom's Eddie Hearn, and also switched trainers from Anthony Farnell to first Oliver Harrison and then Joe Gallagher.

"It's the reason we came over to Eddie in the first place, I knew he would deliver the big fights for me," Butler said. "I want to win it back then hopefully defend which I didn't have the chance to do last time.

"It sounded a good idea at the time to vacate but looking back now I should have kept hold of the belt. I should have worked on my strength and conditioning, filled out and defended my title. I've definitely got some unfinished business with this."

He added of the unbeaten Rodriguez: "I never used to look at my opponents, but since I've linked up with Joe he's always sending me little clips.

"It's a tougher test than the last time I won the title (against Stuart Hall), but I'm up for the challenge. I've improved myself.

"He's touted to be this next big superstar, but how many of them come over here and get turned on their heads?"

Related boxing links

Most Read

Real Madrid win their 13th European Cup and third Champions League in a row1

Real retain Champions League

Real Madrid substitute Gareth Bale scored twice - including a brilliant overhead kick - to win the Champions League final

Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo hinted they could leave Real Madrid2

Bale & Ronaldo to leave Real?

Real Madrid stars Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo hinted they could both leave the club this summer shortly after their Champions League final triumph.

Loris Karius is consoled by his Liverpool team-mates3

Reds rally behind Karius

Jurgen Klopp branded Loris Karius a "fantastic boy" and Jordan Henderson insisted Liverpool "lose as a team" following the goalkeeper's horrendous night.

Romanised winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas4

Ballydoyle floored by Roman conqueror

Romanised gave trainer Ken Condon his first Classic success when springing a 25/1 surprise in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Fulham players celebrate with Tom Cairney after his goal in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final.5

Fulham seal Premier League return

Tom Cairney was the hero for his side as Fulham earned a Premier League return with a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final.

Most Read

Real Madrid win their 13th European Cup and third Champions League in a row1

Real retain Champions League

Real Madrid substitute Gareth Bale scored twice - including a brilliant overhead kick - to win the Champions League final

Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo hinted they could leave Real Madrid2

Bale & Ronaldo to leave Real?

Real Madrid stars Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo hinted they could both leave the club this summer shortly after their Champions League final triumph.

Loris Karius is consoled by his Liverpool team-mates3

Reds rally behind Karius

Jurgen Klopp branded Loris Karius a "fantastic boy" and Jordan Henderson insisted Liverpool "lose as a team" following the goalkeeper's horrendous night.

Romanised winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas4

Ballydoyle floored by Roman conqueror

Romanised gave trainer Ken Condon his first Classic success when springing a 25/1 surprise in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Fulham players celebrate with Tom Cairney after his goal in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final.5

Fulham seal Premier League return

Tom Cairney was the hero for his side as Fulham earned a Premier League return with a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final.

Racing Tips

Check out our horse racing nap of the day

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

Ben Linfoot previews the action from the Curragh and ParisLongchamp on Sunday with the Sporting Life Daily Nap running in Ireland.

Colin Tizzard

Sunday's racing preview

Keith Hamer fancies Valseur Du Granval to be a fitting winner at Uttoxeter on Sunday and has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Battaash pulls clear of his King George rivals

Saturday's racing preview

Keith Hamer previews Saturday's action and expects Battaash to make a winning reappearance at Haydock. He has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Next Race Off
02:10 Penn National
8
(8)
Derval
J: Luis Munar
4
(4)
Inverchapel
J: Maicol Inirio
7
(7)
Into Battle
J: Inoel Beato

Football Tips

Check out our outright tips for the World Cup

World Cup: Outright tips

Five-time winners Brazil are given the confident selection for World Cup glory as Matt Brocklebank takes a look at the outright betting market.

Dean Henderson will be hopeful of more celebrations at full-time on Sunday

Rotherham v Shrews: Play-off tips

Sky Bet League One takes centre stage on Sunday when Rotherham meet Shrewsbury. Tom Carnduff has 12/5, 7/2 and 18/1 best bets.

Jayden Stockley and Exeter celebrate

Coventry v Exeter: play-off tips

The Sky Bet EFL play-offs end with Coventry's meeting with Exeter at Wembley and Tom Carnduff is backing the Grecians for success.