Injury was worst of my career – Butlin
For years, Paul Butlin has had the toughest job in sport.
His pursuit of a prizefighting education has taken him around the world to face the top heavyweight prospects on the planet – until he reached a turning point, in Oldham, in April.
Butlin suffered the worst injury of his 29-fight career – a wound over his right eye that needed five stitches – on the way to a four-round defeat against Australian champion Lucas Browne, and that led to a rethink.
"Browne was the hardest puncher I've ever boxed," said the 36-year-old from Melton Mowbray, "but he was nothing special.
"He was wide open and I knew what to do. But I just wasn't throwing punches and kept taking punishment.
"I know how to block punches and use my feet, but couldn't let my punches go. I was turning into a journeyman."
Whatever you do, do not call Butlin a journeyman.
He said: "Journeymen take any fight for the cash expecting to lose, but I go in there and have a row. I want to win. I do everything properly. I run every morning, I don't drink or smoke.
"I've taken tough fights for the experience. I didn't start boxing until I was 24 years old and had only 12 amateur fights, so I knew I couldn't hang about.
"I wanted to stay busy and, anyway, you don't learn anything by beating no-hopers who turn up to lose."
Butlin's record includes two fights against bad boy Dereck Chisora, a razor-thin points loss to former Olympic bronze medallist Sebastian Koeber and defeats to Johnathon Banks, ranked No. 4 in the world by the WBC, and Edmund Gerber.
He makes a welcome return to the left-hand side of the bill in Newark on Friday, November 2, and with a new promoter and trainer behind him, the father-of-three hopes to be heading back to the top 10.
Butlin's been there before. He walloped Colin Kenna inside two rounds in 'Prizefighter' in April 2008 to join British boxing's elite.
He said: "If I get four or five wins, I will be back in the top 10 and ready to fight anyone."
Tickets for the show are available from 07539 823171.