The IBF has rejected a request made by its bantamweight titlist Stuart Hall to defend the title voluntarily for a second time against unbeaten Ellesmere Port sensation Paul Butler.
Hall’s first defence was cut short back in March when County Durham man Martin Ward, his opponent on the night in Newcastle, obtained a nasty gash above his eye that left him unable to continue.
It was then announced that Butler, 25, 15-0 (8), would get the chance to dethrone Hall in Newcastle on June 7, but the latest news has put paid to that.
Lindsey Tucker, the IBF chairman, told LiveFight’s John MacDonald that the 34-year-old must now face mandatory challenger Randy Caballero (21-0, 13KOs).
“He [Hall] filed for and exception but the board denied the exception so he now has to fight Caballero within, I think, it was 90 days,” said Tucker.
“There’s 11 people on the board and all we need is six of them to go one way. I think the vast majority of them voted “no”. They didn’t feel he should have the optional fight right now so he has to face his mandatory.”
Fozzy’s Fighting Talk can exclusively reveal that Paul Butler wasn’t aware of the latest developments, saying, “I knew nothing about it, absolutely f**k all.
“I logged onto Twitter and saw the news.
“I’ve spoken to Francis Warren and Frank [Warren] is on the phone to the IBF.
“They’re very confident that the fight will happen and that it’s just a bit of politics but I was really surprised.”