Former International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight titlist, Joseph King Kong Agbeko, says he will be ready to face Paul Butler at a later date following the cancellation of their scheduled World Boxing Organisation (WBO) final eliminator on Friday.
Agbeko, who failed to secure a visa to travel for the bout with Butler in the United Kingdom, explained that his camp will be available to renegotiate with the British boxer after his fight with Willibaldo Garcia on Friday.
The 41-year-old experienced boxer was replaced with Mexico’s Garcia after visa arrangements delayed him from travelling on time to face Butler in a bout which could have earned him another shot at a world title.
In an interview with the Graphic Sports, Agbeko said his camp couldn’t readily provide all the needed paperwork demanded by the High Commission on time to secure the visa to travel for the bout.
He, however, noted that the MTK-signed Butler must fight him to become the mandatory challenger for the WBO bantamweight belt since he was rated the highest fighter in the division by the sanctioning body.
“I will be ready to face Butler at a later date because he can only fight me for the eliminator,” said Agbeko. “He cannot fight any other person because I am rated number one and he is behind me.
“It is rather unfortunate that I couldn’t provide all the paperwork for the fight because the notice for the bout was short. I look forward to facing him after his Friday bout so both camps can negotiate and prepare well.”
Agbeko has garnered nine straight victories since losing to legendary Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux in 2013. His last ring outing was a fifth-round knockout win over Albert Commey last December.
When asked about his return to the ring this year, Agbeko said he was confident of fighting for final eliminator by close of year before taking on John Riel Casmiero for the WBO bantamweight crown.
“I am confident that I will get to fight for the final eliminator as soon as possible to prepare me for the world championship. Everything is in order and it is just a matter of time for me to get the needed opportunity.”