Jay Harris: The boxer trying to raise the profile of flyweight division with box office fight

  • Jay Harris is determined to raise the popularity of the flyweight division.

If successful against Butler, the box

Even with the rise of British talent, the profile of flyweight boxing is well below that of heavyweight fighters like Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.

British champion Jay Harris, from Swansea, wants to change that as he fights to defend his title and win two more on Saturday in Liverpool.

The 34-year-old is taking on Connor Butler with the hope of adding the Commonwealth and European flyweight titles to his collection.

Butler has home advantage, though, with Harris travelling to his hometown.

Talking ahead of the fight, Harris, who got into the sport at the age of 12 thanks to a friend, said: "I don't think the flyweights get the recognition they deserve and the fights are a lot better. They're quicker, faster, [there is] a lot more action in them.

"We just don't get the limelight and the money that we deserve, if I'm being honest."

The boxing division is becoming more popular, though, and it is hoped Saturday's fight at the Olympia can raise the profile further.

The experienced boxer, who has fought more than twenty times in his career, said of the weekend's fight: "I'm hoping with this, the big domestic clash and stuff like that, to shine a light on the division."

He added: "There's two domestic boys now putting everything on the line and now it's getting broadcast on a big platform so it means people get to see the flyweight division."

If successful against Butler, the boxer would hold all three domestic titles.

He said he is determined to "come back to Swansea with three new belts."

Achieving the feat would "mean a lot" and be a huge leap forward in his career, according to Harris.

He said: "This will propel us into world honours, so that's what I'd be looking at if I win on Saturday night, and try to maybe get a world title shot or one of the big boys [high profile boxers]."

Before that can happen, though, he needs to beat Butler - no mean feat given the Liverpool-born fighter holds both the Commonwealth and European titles.

  • None of it would be possible without support, according to 34-year-old.

Speaking to ITV Cymru Wales, Harris said while he has not had a chance to speak to his 26-year-old opponent before the weigh in, there is a mutual respect between the two athletes.

He said: "I'm respectful towards him anyway and he's respectful towards me, so there's no bad blood, no animosity between us both."

The reigning British champion added: "We're just putting everything on the line" to try to win and progress in the sport.

Jay Harris and Connor Butler will start their ringwalks at 10pm on Saturday.

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