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  Cloutier’s Canada Corner
Butler: "My Dream Will Become Reality"
Murata: "I Want To Become One Of The Best..."

By Daniel Cloutier
Photo: Patrick Lacombe


MONTRÉAL — The Montrealer middleweight Steven Butler has dreamt for many years of this day of his first participation to a world championship..,. and this day will become reality December 23rd in Tokyo, Japan. Butler (28-1-1) will face the WBA middleweight (160 pounds) champion of the world, the Japanese Ryota Murata (15-2-0) at the Yokohama Arena.

In a conference call, Murata said: “Butler is ranked in the world, he has the reputation to be a great fighter, then, this match up is a good opportunity for me. My intention is to stay WBA world champion and become eventually one of the best fighter pound for pound in the world.”

Murata had a great amateur boxing career. He was gold medalist at the London Olympics in 2012, and he won a silver medal at the 2011 world championship.

Murata became WBA champion of the world in October 2017, in beating the French African Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (37-4-0) by TKO in the seventh round.

On his side, Butler is ranked fourth contender by the WBC, eight by the IBF and nine by the WBA. “I am dreaming since a long time to the day I will have a world championship bout, and it’s marvelous, this day will become reality December 23rd in Japan,” said Butler Friday afternoon in a boxing gym in Montreal. “Murata is definitively the most dangerous opponent I got in pro boxing, but I am extremely confident to beat him. If we said yes to this offer to face Murata, it’s because we really believed in my chances to win it. I think that my destiny is to become world champion December 23rd. My progression in boxing never stopped since my only lost in pro boxing in 2017 (TKO against the Canadian Brendan Cook) and no doubt in my mind, I have now the maturity and the experience necessaries to become world champion. I will go in Japan with a perfect preparation, mentally, physically, technically and strategically. I am determinate to become WBA middleweight champion of the world, then, watch me when the fight will begin.”

Butler’s promoter, Camille Estephan, the big boss of The Eye Of The Tiger Management Group, is very enthusiastic to see his fighter in action in a world championship fight in Japan. “I am positive that Steven will impress the boxing fans in Japan, said Stephan. As you know, Steven is a fighter with a great determination, with a good technique and power. I am sure he will do everything possible to deliver a great performance December 23rd. I really believe he is ready for this challenge.”

The former heavyweight Jean-François Bergeron is one of the Butler’s trainers. “I saw Murata in action on videos, and no doubt he is a good fighter, very strong physically, who can hit solidly,” said Bergeron. “We know it’s a big challenge to face him, but Steven is ready mentally, physically, technically and strategically for this mission. He knows it’s the most important moment of his pro boxing career, and he got a great preparation so far. And I am positive he will train intensively in the next 10 weeks. Steven is determinate to become the new WBA middleweight champion of the world.”


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