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  • Writer's pictureElias Laradi

Boxing: Steven Butler serves up early KO to Torontonian Steve Rolls

Updated: Apr 7

By Elias Laradi

Steven Butler and Steve Rolls fight at Montreal Casino
Steven Butler (white trunks) goes on the front foot against Steve Rolls (Photo credit: Vincent Ethier / Eye of The Tiger)

It was an amazing night at the Montreal Casino featuring another Eye of the Tiger with the main event between local slugger Steven "Bang Bang" Butler and Toronto fighter Steve Rolls.

Before the fight, the oddsmakers seemingly had the Torontonian a favorite to win the fight but just over a minute (1:05) into the first round, Butler’s right hook sent Rolls to the ropes before finishing him off.

“I needed a convincing win”, Butler told the media after the fight. “ To be honest I have sacrificed so much in my life and I gave everything and my kid cries at school because his dad is away.”

I was able to ask Butler if his game plan was to finish the fight early but he said he wasn’t looking for the early knockout.

“The truth is I wasn’t planning to knock him out and I told myself I needed to box without trying to knock him out and I saw I was the underdog so it pushed me even harder.” - Steven Butler, winner of Thursday's main event fight.

Butler gave us his experience of what he saw and witnessed in the 65-second bout.

“I used the double jab and then I hit him with a right and I honestly wasn’t trying to hurt him and he didn’t even realize what had happened and that’s how I knocked him out.”

He was asked if this fight was the fastest in his career and he responded by saying it was his most memorable.

“It was the best win of my career so far and I always had confidence in my strength.”

In another big win for boxing in Quebec in the only title fight on the card tonight, Vanessa Lepage Joanisse became the new WBC heavyweight champion earning a split decision victory.  

“I knew it was tight”, Joanisse said after the fight. “I felt I made the adjustments that were necessary to win this fight.”

Check out our interview with Canadian boxing coach, Vincent Auclair!

The scorecards proved controversial as Joanisse won by the judges scoring it 97-93, 94-96, 97-93 which had a lot of people thinking if the fight was judged accordingly.

While the fight was tightly contested it seemed like Vidal landed more serious blows and after the fight, it was all over Joanisse's face which was bruised and battered.

“I readjusted after the third round and I felt like those points made the difference in the win tonight.”

Joanisse got emotional when asked about how she felt now that she was a world champion.

“I worked so hard for so many years and I am just so happy and so many sacrifices and this belt is not just for me but for my entire team who never stopped supporting me.”

The Quebec native spoke about the beginning of the fight which was pretty explosive with both fighters going jab for jab and it looked like more of a street fight which Joanisse's coach told her not to do.

“We saw in the first round I tried to fight like it was a street fight with big blows and my coach warned me to stop fighting like that and go back to boxing and that was another difference in the win.”

Wilkens Mathieu, another Quebec fighter, improved to 8-0 with another knockout this time against Patrick Fiala from Czechia.

“In the second round, he was waiting for me to go at him,” Mathieu told me in a one-on-one interview after the fight. “ Basically what I did was press him and I closed the distance to make him throw a punch and I counter-punched him and I gave him a left hook and he got back up but after that, the fight was over.

After a first round of what looked like Mathieu scouting his opponent the second round is where went searching for the win and two minutes into the second round he dropped Fiala before he got back up but the ref stopped the fight.

I asked Mathieu if the way Fiala fought threw him off or if he fought the way he expected him to fight.

“He fought me like I expected him to but I didn’t know how many punches he was going to throw so I didn’t know how the fight would go but I was able to figure it out after the first round.”

The next Eye of the Tiger event at the Montreal Casino is scheduled for April 11th when Erik Bazinyan goes up against the Jamaican Juggernaut Shakeel Phinn.


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