Rutland heavyweight Paul Butlin beats James Oliphant on points

Paul Butlin covers up against a lightning fast Anthony Joshua
Paul Butlin covers up against a lightning fast Anthony Joshua
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Oakham heavyweight Paul Butlin beat James Oliphant 39-38 in a points decision on Saturday night to give himself a shot at the Midlands title later this year.

Butlin, 37, beat Leeds fighter Oliphant in the second bout at the North Hykeham Leisure Centre, near Lincoln.

The Rutland heavyweight, who runs Hardknocks Boxing & Fitness Gym in Melton Mowbray, was happy with the win but disappointed with the close scores given by referee Robert Chalmers,feeling he dominated proceedings in the four-round fight.

After victory in Butlin’s 35th professional fight his manager Carl Greaves now plans to put him through to fight for the vacant Midlands heavyweight title with Shane McPhilbin who became British Cruiserweight champion in 2012.

The title fight could take place as early as May.

The fight will be Butlin’s second shot at the Midland’s title after Butlin lost a 10-round match on points to Lee Swaby at the Lincoln Showground, in May 2009.

Butlin, now moves to a professional career record of 15 wins, 20 losses and 0 draws.

His beaten opponent Oliphant remains without a professional win, falling to a record of 0 wins, 6 losses, and 2 draws.

The fight was Butlin’s first return to the ring since losing to Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua.

The Oakham boxer met Joshua in just his second professional fight but the bout lasted just two rounds at the Motorpoint Arena Sheffield on October 26, when the referee decided Butlin was taking too much punishment and had a serious cut to his left eye, declaring Joshua the winner by TKO.

Joshua also fought on Saturday night, taking just 134 seconds to dismiss Argentine fighter Hector Avila in Glasgow to claim his fifth win as a professional.

The unbeaten heavyweight is widely tipped to be a future world champion.