Boxing | Steven Butler wins in 65 seconds

Only 65 seconds passed between the sound of the bell indicating the start of the fight and the moment when Steven Butler climbed into the corner of the ring to celebrate his victory. The Quebecer had just been knocked out. to Torontonian Steve Rolls.

For days we have been saying that this fight, the last of a card of eight duels Thursday evening at the Montreal Casino, was decisive for the rest of Butler’s career. The least we can say is that the Montrealer knew how to handle the pressure and deliver the goods.

Given the expeditious nature of the brawl, Butler looked fresh as a rose when he appeared before the reporters.

“I needed a convincing victory,” he said. That’s what I said in my head, that this was the fight that was going to give me a springboard to get back into the paying fights, the fights where I want to perform. »

“The truth is that I have sacrificed so much in my life. I gave everything. I miss my children. They cry at school because daddy isn’t home. It’s a lot of emotion and it pays off. »

The first seconds of the duel did not announce such a hasty end; neither pugilist’s strikes had yet reached their target when Butler unleashed a powerful right hook that knocked Rolls off balance. Camille Estephan’s protégé then went for a series of strikes from the left, before referee Yvon Goulet asked him to move aside.

To the media, Butler explained that his strategy was to put his opponent to sleep with multiple double jabs. “John Scully (his trainer) wanted me to hit him with my first right. I hit him with my first right. »

This, yes. And not just a little.

“He didn’t remember what happened. He no longer knew that he had made himself knocker. I know that I have the power to knocker anyone in the world. »

Eye of the Tiger Management president Camille Estephan was proud of his boxer who, he said, “was very confident.” “I saw how he did the job with John Scully. He listens to her very well. It has everything you need. He has the experience, the power. A guy that powerful can shut the lights out as fast as we saw (tonight). »

The “energy boost”

Butler unabashedly described getting a “boost of energy” from noting, in the days leading up to the fight, that he was considered a “ underdog » by the online betting platform Mise-o-jeu.

“I said to myself: oh yeah, the world is betting on me, doesn’t believe me, doesn’t have confidence in me. I started reading a little on social media and I immediately dropped it because the world saw me losing, making myself knocker. »

“That’s a victory for all these haters. They wish me to lose, to hurt myself. I don’t wish anyone to get hurt. I am a Quebecer against an Ontarian and I did not have the full support of all Quebecers. It affected me, it hurt me, but we will bounce back, we will come back, we will win back the hearts of Quebecers. »

To those who would be tempted to reduce the Montrealer’s accomplishment by talking about Rolls’ age – he is 38, by the way – Butler has an answer.

“It’s a name!” Don’t tell me that Steve Rolls is old, that he’s this and that. I’m going to piss you off, you understand? Steve Rolls is a veteran who is good. I sparred with him. I didn’t have the upper hand and neither did he. We had quality sparring. I knew that with small gloves, it was going to be advantageous for me. »

“I have been confident in my power since the start of my career. I just don’t focus on that anymore. As you could see, I controlled with the jab. I waited for my timing to come. I have become more intelligent, I am now 28 years old. »

Butler had two opportunities to get his hands on a world title during his career. Twice he was defeated. But he doesn’t give up. Its objective remains the same.

“Camille told me that we could easily put a top 15 or 12 belt. There was no lack of money in terms of financing for the belt. We’re just going to take it step by step. »

“We don’t put pressure on ourselves. I’m 28 years old, starting to reach my peak careers. We will see the opportunities and what will happen soon. »

Estephan, for his part, described this fight as a “relaunch” for Butler’s career. “It has been on ESPN+ in the United States. People see that he’s a guy who has an asset… It’s innate, that. You have it or you don’t have it, this power. It can cause harm to anyone. There, he is more organized, he has more experience. I really believe in it. »


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