Paul Butler offered chance to fight for IBF title on home soil against Emmanuel Rodriguez
By Tim Hobbs
Last Updated: 13/02/18 11:55am
Eddie Hearn admits it will be difficult for Paul Butler to turn down the chance to win his old world title back on home soil.
The 'Baby Faced Assassin' has been ordered to fight Emmanuel Rodriguez for the vacant IBF bantamweight title and must make a decision by the close of play on Thursday.
Butler, who held the belt briefly back in 2014, was hoping to challenge WBA 'world' champion Jamie McDonnell, but with Ryan Burnett giving up the belt, Hearn hopes it will stay in Britain.
Paul and his team will make their decision in the next 48 hours but any time you get a chance to challenge for a world title in your own country, it's difficult to say no.
"It's a great opportunity for Paul and Rodriguez is happy to travel," he exclusively told Sky Sports.
"Originally the plan was to fight the winner of Jamie McDonnell v Liborio Solis but it's been difficult to construct after the TD in Monaco.
"Paul and his team will make their decision in the next 48 hours but any time you get a chance to challenge for a world title in your own country, it's difficult to say no."
Butler (26-1-KO14) is ranked fourth and Rodriguez (17-0-KO12) third by the IBF and they are now the two highest-ranked fighters at 118lbs following Burnett giving up the title.
The former unified world champion has gone down the WBA route, defending his 'super' belt against Yonfrez Parejo, on the Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker undercard, on March 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Butler has been linked with fighting on the Amir Khan comeback card at the Echo Arena, Liverpool, on April 21, but it is now up to the Ellesmere Port boxer to accept the Rodriguez challenge.
Watch Ryan Burnett on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker world heavyweight title unification fight, from Principality Stadium, Cardiff, on March 31, live and exclusive on Sky Sports Box Office.