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  • Writer's pictureDexter Hastings

Matt Man Windle Moving up in weight for European Glory

'The Mat Man’ Matt Windle the light-Flyweight Commonwealth champion is set to move up in weight to take on the unbeaten Connor Butler for his Flyweight Commonwealth title and the vacant EBU European Flyweight title. The show will be streamed live on the Fight Zone network and should also be on BBC's I-player on the ninth of June at the Liverpool Olympia.

Thirty-two-year-old Windle from Birmingham known as the Poet with Punch still works full-time across England as a spoken word poet delivering workshops to schools, young Offenders and various other establishments. The articulate fighter has had an up-and-down career but was crowned light Flyweight Commonwealth champ in his last fight stopping the then-unbeaten Siphelele Myeza in the eleventh round in October of last year. Windle has won seven times with one draw out of twelve contests, he has fought for the Midlands area Flyweight title twice losing to Ijaz Ahmed and David Seymour on points back in 2019. Windle also contested for the British Flyweight title losing to Tommy Fleck on points in September of 2021.

I caught up with Matt and asked him how he felt about getting this crack at the two titles. He told me “I'm having to move up a weight division to Flyweight because the European Boxing Union doesn't recognise my weight category. Becoming a two-weight Commonwealth champion would be a fantastic achievement, but the European title was the carrot for me. I can't fight for a European title at my weight, so if I want to add that to my résumé, I have to take it at Flyweight”.

I then asked him how his training was going and have you changed anything for this fight. He said, “Training is going well; I'm fit and we're just starting to pick the sparring up now. There are a few adjustments that I'm making from the last fight but our basic training foundations remain the same”.

We then talked about Butler and how he thought the fight would go. The Poet with Punch informed me “I know I'm the underdog. I'm travelling to Liverpool to fight an unbeaten Liverpudlian on his manager's show. The odds are stacked against me but I genuinely believe that I can bring the European and Commonwealth belts back to Birmingham”.

My final question to Mat Man was what’s next if you win the titles? He told me with confidence “What's next... A Commonwealth title defence at Light-Flyweight? A European defence at Flyweight? A British title fight at Super-fly against my old pal Ijaz? An intercontinental fight at Light Flyweight to elevate my world ranking or perhaps winning the European at Flyweight would enable me to fight for a World title at Light-Flyweight. Why not dream big”?

His opponent Butler has an impressive record as a pro winning ten out of his eleven contests with the one draw, he had got being a technical one. Butler (25) from Liverpool won the Flyweight Commonwealth title in February of this year beating Craig Derbyshire on points. This contest was his first twelve rounds and he has also fought once over ten.

Dexter’s Thoughts

As Matt has said he will be going into this fight the underdog taking on the unbeaten Liverpudlian hot prospect in Liverpool and attempting to calm his second Commonwealth title and grab the European title at Flyweight, but if anyone can ‘Mat Man’ can. I have had the privilege of watching Matt train when team McCracken used Cogans Corner before moving to their gym, he is a disciplined motivated person who leaves no stone unturned in his training regime. He is entering the lion's den on the 9th of June and I’m sure he will relish every second of it. Looking at his opponent's gatekeeper record Butler basically beat a gate keeper in Craig Derbyshire to win his Commonwealth title and will now be taking on an opponent who is coming to win and has won a Commonwealth title already. It would be a great massive achievement for Windle to become a two-weight Commonwealth champion and claim the EBU European Flyweight title and who knows where this win could propel him. I look forward to watching ‘The Poet with Punch’ upset the apple cart on June 9th.


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