Bellew vs Haye 2: Emmanuel Rodriguez confident ahead of Paul Butler world title clash
By Neel Khagram & Matt Horan
Last Updated: 02/05/18 11:47am
Emmanuel Rodriguez says "nothing can stop" him from claiming the vacant IBF bantamweight world title against Paul Butler.
The undefeated 25-year-old (17-0-KO12) will attempt to win a version of the 122lbs belt at the first time of asking, and believes his experiences leading up to this point will be enough to upset the British fighter, at The O2 in London, on the undercard of Tony Bellew's rematch against David Haye on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
"It has been a long road to this fight," said Rodriguez. "I am ready to win my first world championship. Paul Butler is a good fighter, but nothing can stop me.
"I have worked too hard to get here."
Butler (26-1-KO14) previously reigned as a world champion at super-flyweight for nine months, before a crushing knockout defeat to Zolani Tete in 2015 inflicted the first and only defeat of his career thus far.
The 'Baby Face Assassin' has since rebuilt with nine straight victories, including a points win over domestic rival Stuart Hall last year, and will hope to claim the belt recently vacated by Ryan Burnett and become a two-weight champion in the capital this weekend.
However, Rodriguez is undaunted at the prospect of fighting away from home for the fifth time in his career, and is confident of producing a performance which will be good enough to take the title back to his homeland.
"It doesn't matter that we're in his backyard," he said.
"I've done everything right getting ready for this and I look forward to bringing the belt back to my beloved country of Puerto Rico."