Jay Harris banking on experience over Connor Butler in domestic flyweight cracker

Jay Harris banking on experience over Connor Butler in domestic flyweight cracker

Jay Harris vs Connor Butler feels like that type of fight you find out about after the event. After you know the decision, after the blood has dried on the splattered canvas and you’re forced to pick through highlight reels on X.

But thanks to DAZN picking up coverage for this British, Commonwealth and European flyweight championship fight fairly late in the day, it gives the pair of 112-pounders the chance to shine in front of a wider audience on Saturday night.

Harris (20-3, 11 KO) travels to Butler’s backyard in Liverpool but is convinced that his experience will prevail in what is being priced up as one of the most competitive and even fights to take place this weekend.

“Butler is putting his neck out early in his career, but that’s what you’ve got to do to make a name for yourself in this sport and, especially as a flyweight,” Harris said in preparation for his first defence of the British title.

“With three belts on the line – British, Commonwealth and European – it’s the perfect opportunity for us to showcase the best of the division and begin knocking on the door for another world title opportunity. That’s the end goal. I am coming towards the end of my career but I’ve fought for a world title before and I would love to get that opportunity again.”

Connor Butler is the man in the opposite corner to Harris, and the Welshman believes that the hometown fighter hasn’t gained the experience needed to trouble him inside the Olympia.

“Butler is a good fighter. He’s an excellent mover and very strong off the back foot, but despite winning titles as an amateur he hasn’t fought anyone close to my level.

“He hasn’t been in a tough fight yet, but I have shown time and time again that I can dig deep and mix it with the very best. Can he? We’ll have to find out.”

Buoyed by the experienced corner of his father, Peter (former British featherweight champion) and the well-respected Gary Lockett, Harris has voices of wisdom in his ear that have experienced the highs and lows of the pro game. Jay speaks fondly of his father as his “guiding light” and is under no illusions how important he has been to him throughout his career.

In 2020, the Welshman lost via decision in a WBC flyweight title fight against Julio Cesar Martinez and last May he won the British title when he stopped Tommy Frank in the 10th round – but he’s convinced there are still more chapters to his story in the sport.

“Picking up the British title felt like the missing piece,” he continued. “Before then it was the one that got away. But now I can say that about a world title.”

Butler (11-0-1, 1 KO) fights in Liverpool for the 10th time and is a big win away from launching his career to the next level. The 26-year-old looks more like a teenager, but is adamant that looks can be deceptive in the fight game.

“I think I have got every single answer that there is for whatever questions that he asks,” he said of Harris to the media this week. “I just think a lot of people are overlooking me because I look young!”

Whilst we can’t guarantee an up-and-downer between two sluggers, what you can expect from this domestic showdown is a throwback fight between two guys that live and breathe boxing.

It demonstrates the beating heart of the sport in purest form and in front of a couple of hundred fans in Liverpool, and many more worldwide, it offers the chance for Harris or Butler to stamp their names into the annals of an often dismissed domestic division.

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