Oakhan boxer Paul Butlin fighting for title shot

Paul Butlin covers up against a lightning fast Anthony Joshua
Paul Butlin covers up against a lightning fast Anthony Joshua

Oakham professional boxer Paul Butlin is one victory away from his second shot at the Midlands title against a former British champion.

The 37-year-old heavyweight will face James Oliphant at North Hykeham Leisure Centre, near Lincoln, on Saturday for a chance at the title.

The Rutland heavyweight, who runs Hardknocks Boxing & Fitness Gym in Melton Mowbray, is now four weeks into a specialist training programme to prepare for the fight.

Butlin is confident that victory in his 35th professional contest would put him through to a Midlands title fight with Shane McPhilbin who became British Cruiserweight champion in 2012.

That would give the experienced fighter a chance to lay to rest the ghosts of his previous shot at the regional title back in May 2009.

On that occasion Butlin lost the 10-round match on points to Lee Swaby at the Lincoln Showground, but was furious with the decision.

Oliphant, 33, from Leeds, has yet to enjoy a victory in his pro career, with a record of 0 wins, 5 losses and 2 draws, but did earn a draw from a four-round contest with McPhilbin back in June last year.

Butlin is not treating his opponent lightly despite his poor record and has adopted a new diet into his training regime to improve his preparations for the four-round bout.

He said: “James has had seven fights and had no wins yet, but he has been in with some good kids and did draw with Shane McPhilbin.”

Butlin, who has a record of 14 wins, 20 losses and 0 draws, is also looking to rebound from his last outing against 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.

Tickets for the Hykeham show, which has 10 bouts scheduled, cost £30.