1709766744 Boxing Steven Butler doesn39t want to put pressure on himself

Boxing: Steven Butler doesn't want to put pressure on himself, but…

MONTREAL – Nothing less than boxer Steven Butler's career will come to a head against Steve Rolls at the Montreal Casino on Thursday.

This was repeatedly made clear during the press conference organized by Eye of the Tiger Management (EOTTM) on Tuesday.

“This is a very meaningful fight in which both boxers cannot afford to lose. It is thankless because the winner will be at the top of the division and the loser will fall down the rankings,” explained EOTTM Vice President Antonin Décarie.

At 28, Butler (33-4-1, 27 KOs) already has two defeats in world championship fights. A setback to Rolls (22-3-0, 12 KOs) would all but end his chances of another shot at winning a championship belt.

The Montreal pugilist is well aware of this, but refuses to project into the future before the final blows of this middleweight clash.

“Rolls and I have roughly the same background in boxing. We both failed in our previous attempts to become elite,” Butler said.

“I don’t want to put pressure on myself by saying it’s a matter of choice. I have my job to do and I prepared as always.”

“I just don’t want to put any extra pressure on my shoulders,” he added. It’s a big fight and I can’t imagine losing it.”

An “emotionally engaged” promoter

Whether Butler likes it or not, he will have to make some important decisions and likely have a difficult discussion with promoter Camille Estephan if he loses. He said he was “emotionally connected” to Butler. They have been working together for around ten years.

“Athletes never want to see this as the end. “It’s the same for me as a promoter,” said the big boss of EOTTM. We have been together for 10 years and it has been a fruitful connection. I want it to continue like this.”

Boxing: Steven Butler doesn't want to put pressure on himself, but...


Like Butler, Estephan doesn't want to cross the bridge before reaching the river.

“I'd rather not prepare for that,” he said when asked about a possible defeat for his colt. I don't think about it. I have had difficult conversations with some of our boxers in the past. I had to say it was the end. It’s never easy.”

“Like my boxers, I have to be confident that we will give a positive verdict.”

Rolls doesn't shy away from words

Unlike his rival from Quebec, Rolls took the liberty of saying on several occasions that for him it was a “matter of life and death”.

The Torontonian has fewer professional fights under his belt than Butler, but is 11 years older than him.

“It’s a question of ranking and not age,” said the 39-year-old boxer. I'm fine and you'll be able to see it on Thursday evening. You’ll feel like I’ve found the fountain of youth.”

“I still feel like I’m one of the elite in the middleweight division. However, I need to get past Butler to get a chance to fight for a world title.”

The two men also know each other quite well. In 2022, they got in the ring together for five or six sparring sessions.

“A fight is completely different,” emphasized Butler. In training we have [gants] of 16 ounces and helmets.

“Of course we know each other well, but with little gloves it’s a different sport,” Butler concluded with a grin.