MOTHERWELL boxer Iain Butcher has picked up the first title of his professional career.
At Rivals Gym in Wishaw, Butcher was made to work hard by South African Michael Ramabeletsa, before being given a 97-94 points victory to lift the vacant International Masters super-flyweight title.
Butcher main evented the Prospect Boxing card which was due to feature Bellshill super-featherweight Kris Hughes, but rather than fight Dougie Curran in Wishaw he was despatched to Meadowbank Stadium to take on Mark Ginley.
On paper it was a far tougher fight, but after two defeats Hughes got back in form to drop the unbeaten Northern Irishman in the fourth and then the fight was stopped in the sixth with Ginley needing stitiches for a large head wound.
His manager Paul Graham said: “Ginley has been calling Kris out for a while so this seemed the perfect opportunity to take him on.
“We have now found Kris’s weight and he boxed like a champion.”
On Friday, both Butcher and Ramabeletsa started strong sharing the spoils in the opening round.
Over the early rounds Ramabeletsa did make good use of the height advantage as Butcher took time to find his rhythm and range.
Once the fight developed over early rounds, the home favourite used his footwork and ability to make Ramabeletsa miss to his advantage and in round six landed a good flurry of punches to his opponent’s midsection.
As the fight developed the South African was showing signs of fatigue and started to hug leaving it little surprise when referee Kenny Pringle raised Butcher’s hand at the end.
Graham, who also manages Butcher, said: “I am delighted with Iain’s performance, epecially as he had to fight a super-flyweight because there just isn’t any flyweights out there.
“The other two flyweights is Britain ahead of him in the rankings meet for the title in February and the Ramabeletsa fight will stand Iain in good stead going forward.”