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Article: Butler ready for Costello test

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Bristol's Danny Butler takes on the unbeaten Thomas Costello for the vacant English middleweight title on March 9 at the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton.

Butler, 20-5 (5 KOs), is the much more experienced of the two, having previously fought for the British and Commonwealth titles, stepping in at late notice to challenge Darren Barker in 2009.

The likeable 25 year old has also shared the ring with world title challenger Martin Murray, losing by split decision in a 2008 edition of the popular 'Prizefighter' knockout competition. Butler's also been in with the likes of Paul Samuels, Darren McDermott, Brett Flourney and Bradley Pryce.

In his most recent outing, Butler was once again on the road, this time travelling to Newport to stop the then unbeaten Welshman Frankie Borg with a highlight-reel knockout in the 8th.

"In my last fight I boxed on the back foot a bit and it paid off. I have learnt so much in the past year with my new trainer Andy O'Kane. It's always great to finish the fight inside the distance."

Skip to 30:00 to see Butler's impressive stoppage of Frankie Borg last July

Meanwhile Thomas Costello, a year younger at 24, is unbeaten in 13 professional fights, with 5 wins inside the distance and the only blotch on his record being a 6 round draw with Lee Noble 3 years ago. Although his opponents so far have mostly been journeymen, and his upcoming fight with Butler represents a significant step-up in class.

The domestic middleweight scene is buzzing right now with Matthew Macklin, Darren Barker and Martin Murray heading the pack as world title challengers. And like many fans, Butler is keen to see them meet in the ring sooner rather than later.

"It's a hard one to call, but it would be great if they did fight each other. I would like it to happen within the next year or so."

There's also a long list of exciting prospects at 160 lbs in Britain and Ireland at the moment with the likes of Billy Joe Saunders, Chris Eubank Jr, John Ryder, and Adam Etches currently boasting unbeaten records as they progress through the rankings.

Butler is unconcerned with the rest of his division however, preferring to concentrate on his own career for the time being.

"No one else has really crossed my mind at the moment as I'm focusing on the task in front of me. I'm just taking one fight at a time."

Speaking of his next fight against Costello, Butler concedes, "he's a very good boxer and I'm sure it's going to be a great fight. Currently I'm feeling as hungry as I did the first time I ever stepped in the ring. No one's seen the best of me yet!"

Costello vs Butler headlines a packed card in the Midlands on Saturday 9th March, which celebrates 70 years of professional boxing at the Civic in Wolverhampton.

J Rowland reporting for
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