Darren Barker has been hit with late change of opponent ahead of tonight’s vacant British Middleweight title showdown at the Brentwood Centre.
Former British Champ and original foe Wayne Elcock was forced to pull out earlier this week due to a stomach virus but promoter Mick Hennessy moved quickly to secure a replacement in the shape of ambitious young Bristol fighter, Danny Butler.
The Hennessy Sports event is live on ITV4 from 7:30pm and Butler enters the bout with impressive credentials. The 22-year-old has a record of 18 wins from his 20 professional fights with both of his defeats coming on contentious points decisions.
Fitness fanatic Butler only fought a ten rounder two weeks ago but he had already been back in the gym preparing for a fundraising event for the Help for Heroes charity when he got the call to face Barker yesterday. His promoter, ex pro Jane Couch says he didn’t have to think twice before accepting.
“Danny’s a fitness fanatic so he’s always in the gym,” revealed Couch. “I’ve known him since he was 9 years old and we share the same manger and trainer in Tex Woodward so he’s almost like a little brother to me. I’ve watched him come up through the ranks and I’ve no doubt that he’s ready for a big chance like this.
“He was training for a Help for Heroes fundraiser which involved a series of physical challenges so he’s in great shape. It’s a charity that’s very close to his heart because both his brothers are in the army and in fact one of them get’s home from Afghanistan tomorrow just in time for the fight.”
Couch believes that Butler has the ability to spring an upset tomorrow night. “He’s coming into this fight with absolutely no pressure on him, all the pressure will be on Barker and he will have to adjust his tactics now to fighting Danny.
Danny’s had a couple of defeats but they were both on close points decisions and he’s learned from both of them and he knows just how big an opportunity he has now.”
Butler’s first defeat was on a split decision to the unbeaten Martin Murray in a Prizefighter clash with Murray going on to win the competition. Butler’s only other defeat was by a single point in an English title fight in another close affair.
At today’s pre fight weigh in Barker tipped the scales at 11 stone 5 and three quarter pounds while Butler was just a shade lighter at 11 stone 5 and a half pounds.
Both Lee Purdy (10 stone 6.75 pounds) and Mark Douglas (10 stone 6.5 pounds) also made the weight ahead of their Southern Area Welterweight title fight on the Barker – Butler undercard.
The card also includes unbeaten heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury, Waltham Abbey Super Middleweight Daniel Cadman and exciting light middleweight Yassine El Maachi with undefeated prospects Bobby Ward, Phill Fury and Steve Barnes also in action.
Tickets for the bout priced £30 and £80 are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via www.ticketline.co.uk.