MOTHERWELL boxer Iain Butcher’s hopes of competing for the British flyweight title took a blow when his first fight for Frank Maloney Promotions was cancelled.
Butcher (20), who trains at Keir Hardie ABC, was due to face Anthony Smith in Liverpool on Saturday night - his first fight outside North Lanarkshire.
Both men have a 3-0 record, with Butcher ranked eighth in Britain and Smith seventh, but with the card featuring 11 bouts it was decided to cut the flyweight contest.
Butcher said: “I was bitterly disappointed when I was told the fight had been cancelled as I was more prepared than I had been for any previous fight.
“It was a bit of a gamble as we both have identical records, but the winner would have been in contention for a title fight so I was up for a challenge.”
Butcher’s attention now turns to Smith’s twin brother Phil who he takes on in Wishaw on June 1.
Smith fights at super-flyweight, and Butcher is confident he will finally get a challenge after three easy victories to start his career.
He said: “It’s another gamble, but this time due to the weight, however I’m expecting six hard rounds and that is what I need at this stage.
“Hopefully after that fight I can then look towards the title again, the British and Commonwealth champion Chris Edwards is 35 and age is catching up with him.
“He hasn’t been that impressive in his last couple of outings and I’m sure the next person who gets him in the ring with will take the title.”
Butcher believes his fearsome amateur reputation has seen him struggle to find opponents over the past year, but even as the Olympics draw near he doesn’t regret his decision to turn pro.
He said: “A lot of the English trainers know I was in the Olympic squad so they aren’t willing to put their boys in with me, but even with the games just a few weeks away I have no regrets about turning pro as I’ve already learned so much and grown as a fighter.”