Paul Butler at least a fight to look forward to after once again watching a bantamweight title shot fall by the wayside. has confirmed that an emergency meeting held by the WBO Championship Committee has resulted in Butler being permitted to enter an interim WBO bantamweight title fight versus Philippines’ Jonas Sultan, a late replacement for full champ John Riel Casimero this Friday at M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. The opponent switch was confirmed Tuesday, hours after Casimero was denied permission by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) to proceed with his planned title defense after a medical guidelines violation.

“Wherefore, considering the preceding request, the WBO World Championship Committee hereby grants sanction

approval for the subject matter bout between Paul Butler and first available World Bantamweight Contender

Jonas Sultan to be held on Friday, April 22, 2022, at the Echo Arena [M&S Bank Arena] in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom,” Luis Batista-Salas stated in a letter to the representatives for Butler and Sultan, a copy of which was obtained by “The Interim Bantamweight Championship Bout Butler/Sultan is sanctioned subject to WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests.”

Butler (33-2, 15KOs) was momentarily left without a title fight for the second time in four months following the BBBoC’s ruling to bar Philippines’ Casimero (31-4, 21KOs) from this weekend’s event in Liverpool. The governing body’s decision was made after evidence was provided of Casimero using a sauna ahead of his scheduled title fight—which is strictly prohibited in the United Kingdom—along with what was documented as drastic weight loss.

Both matters are being challenged by Casimero’s team, representatives tell

The stipulation itself does not exist anywhere in the provided 84-page document of rules and regulations that presently exist on the BBBofC website. However, it is a noted prohibition according to most industry experts familiar with UK boxing rules and also stipulated on a sheet provided to the boxer’s immediate camp upon checking in ahead of fight week.

Casimero claims that his weight at last check was 119.8 pounds, roughly similar to his weight upon leaving his U.S. training camp late last week. has learned that the reported weight check provided to the BBBofC had the three-division and reigning bantamweight titlist closer to 114 pounds, with the discrepancy raising a flag and with alleged documented proof leaving Casimero in a bind.

The 33-year-old from Ormoc City, Philippines has been met with a ‘Show Cause’ action from the WBO, where he has until close of business Thursday to convince the sanctioning body to not vacate his title reign. It is the second time in four months that he is required to explain his actions, both coming in scheduled and eventually canceled title defenses versus Butler.

Casimero caused mayhem when he failed to make it to the weigh-in for his planned December 11 title defense versus Butler in Dubai. It was reported that Casimero was hospitalized due to gastritis, with his team providing the necessary documentation to keep his title reign intact—on the condition he face Butler no later than April 30.

A deal was reached to reschedule the fight for April 22, which Butler accepted in lieu of an on-the-spot offer to face stand-by opponent and former titlist Joseph Agbeko for an interim title on the original December 11 date. Butler—who has won seven in a row since a twelve-round loss to then-unbeaten Emmanuel Rodriguez for the vacant IBF bantamweight title in May 2018—decided to hold out for the real thing.

That dream once remains on hold, though it’s possible that his fight with Sultan (18-5, 11KOs), who was in country as the assigned standby opponent for Friday’s main event.

Sultan came up well short in a May 2018 title bid versus countryman and then-IBF junior bantamweight titlist Jerwin Ancajas, his lone title shot to date. The 31-year-old Cebu native has since won four of his last five fights, including an upset ten-round win over then-unbeaten bantamweight prospect Carlos Caraballo last October 30 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City.

The timely win saw Sultan surge in the WBO rankings, as he is presently number four but also the next highest ranked available challenger after Butler. Sultan also owns a win over Casimero in a 2017 non-title fight.

By fight night, it will be known whether Casimero is once again shown mercy by the WBO or if his latest infraction is one mishap too many and, thus, the end of his two-plus year title reign. Casimero won the belt in a November 2019 third-round knockout of Zolani Tete in Birmingham, England—a fight where he should have recalled the U.K.’s strict policy on sauna use during fight week.

Two title defenses have followed, including a twelve-round win over two-time Olympic Gold medalist and former lineal junior featherweight titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux last August 14 in Carson, California.

Butler previously held the IBF bantamweight title, claiming the belt in a June 2014 split decision win over Stuart Hall. The belt was vacated as Butler opted to win a title at junior bantamweight, though suffering an eighth-round stoppage to Tete in their March 2015 WBO 115-pound title fight at the very arena hosting Friday’s show.

Interestingly, a subsequent effort to fight for a junior bantamweight title ended at the scales, with Butler missing weight for a canceled June 2016 title eliminator. The Ellesmere Port, Cheshire-based boxer admitted to having attempted to shed the final few pounds in a sauna, for which he was fined by the BBBofC. Thirteen straight fights have followed at or above the bantamweight limit, including a ten-round, split decision win over Williabaldo Garcia in his most recent start last June 25 in Bolton, England.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox