MOTHERWELL boxer Iain Butcher says he isn’t bothered that Phil Smith has pulled out of Friday’s fight as he wasn’t looking for a rematch in the first place.
Butcher beat the Liverpudlian on points back in June, but Smith’s camp were publicly unhappy with the result.
After much negotiating a British Masters flyweight title bout between the two was signed, but the Englishman has since pulled out.
Butcher said: “I doesn’t bother me that he has backed out of the fight as I actually thought I had won our fight even more convincingly than the judges scored it.
“Despite making so much noise about the result at first, they turned down a rematch, then later decided they wanted one, only to pull out again.
“It’s a little disruptive, but I’m happy that a new opponent has been found and I can look forward.”
Bristol-based South African Michael Ramabeletsa will now face Butcher for the British Masters super-flyweight title at Rivals Gym, Wishaw, on Friday.
Unbeaten Butcher is confident of victory, but with an inside track on his opponent is aware Ramabeletsa could be dangerous.
He said: “We had looked at him as a potential opponent in the past, but he was always fighting at a higher weight.
“Ramabeletsa lost to my sparring partner Jon Slowey about a year ago so I know what to expect, and he can be a bit wild.
“That lack of finesse should help me to get in and do my work, but I won’t be taking him lightly as I know he is well capable of catching me, so I need to be careful.
“Presumably he will be heavier than me, but I’m well used to sparring with heavier guys like Jon, so I’ll be well prepared.”
Butcher is aiming to be in the picture for the British flyweight title by next summer, with the top two ranked fighters taking on each other in February.
He said: “The champion, Kevin Satchell, and Luke Wilton fight in February and with Chris Edwards and Paul Edwards both retired I should be next in line.
“With a bit of luck, in the summer I can take on the champion or at the very least be in an eliminator to ensure I do later in the year.”
Butcher and Ramabeletsa’s 10-round title fight will headline a seven-bout card which also features Bellshill lightweight Kris Hughes in action against Dougie Curran.
Doors open at 6.30pm and tickets costing £30 are available by calling 01698 338888 or 07793 533981.