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Joseph Agbeko out, Paul Butler gets new opponent for June 25 fight

Butler won’t get a WBO eliminator on Friday, but is still fighting.

18/05/19 BANTAMWEIGHT.PAUL BUTLER vs SALVADOR HERNANDEZ SANCHEZ.SSE HYDRO - GLASGOW.Paul Butler celebrates his 6th round KO win over Salvador Sanchez Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group via Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

The scheduled WBO bantamweight eliminator between Paul Butler and Joseph Agbeko for Friday is off, but Butler will still be fighting on the card.

The 44-year-old Agbeko (38-5, 28 KO), who hasn’t had a significant fight in seven-and-a-half years, has visa issues that are preventing him from making the date. Butler, 32, who hasn’t had a significant fight in two-and-a-half years, will instead face Willibaldo Garcia with a minor WBO trinket on the line in a 10-round bout.

Garcia (12-4-1, 6 KO) is a 31-year-old being pulled from the Mexican club circuit, who did lose a tight majority decision to Alejandro Santiago last year, and also did beat Dewayne Beamon in 2020, as well. Both Santiago and Beamon have been in world title fights in the recent past, and his last two wins have been solid for level, as well.

This one might be a little better than it seems, because Garcia might be better than his win-loss record suggests at a quick glance. Butler (32-2, 15 KO) should certainly be considered the favorite, as he’s a former titleholder at 115 lbs and all, plus has the better record and home field, but it’s been a while since he’s been in the ring with someone who really brought much of a challenge. If he looks past this guy, Garcia could be another Mexican coming to the UK and picking up a big win.

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