Tuesday, June 06, 2023  |



Steven Butler retools for comeback fight against Mark DeLuca in Montreal

Photo by Vincent Ethier/ Eye of the Tiger Management
Fighters Network

Big-punching middleweight Steven Butler is on the comeback trail.

The 27-year-old Montreal born-fighter lost back-to-back fights against Ryota Murata and then Jose De Jesus Macias. There was no shame losing to Murata but he was upset in his return. It led to wholesale changes throughout his team and life.

After re-dedicating himself Butler has won two fights, most recently claiming the vacant NABF 160-pound title in a polished performance against Brandon Brewer (UD 12) in June.

He will make a quick return when he defends his title for the first time against Mark DeLuca at the Montreal Casino, Montreal on Friday.

“He’s a good opponent, he’s a southpaw and aggressive fighter,” Butler (30-3-1, 25 knockouts) told The Ring. “I came back with my first coach, Renald Boisvert, and now we have my dad, Clint, too, I think I have a great team. We made some good adjustments.

“I’m excited and the best is to come. I practice my defense, my offense, my volume, it’s a good balance. I’m 27-years-old, I’m more mature and intelligent.

“We’re on the way to comeback for a world title shot. I’m very focused on this fight because anything can happen in boxing. I know, I had bad luck in Mexico [when I was stopped by Jose De Jesus Macias in five-rounds.] I bounced back strongly. I’m excited about the fight, I know he’s going to come to win. I want to get the win clearly and defend my title. Don’t miss the fight, it’s going to be exciting.”

Butler feels the Brewer win was a good building block to reset and move on with his career.

“My last performance was a solid one,” he said. “Brandon Brewer has all my respect, he took my best punch, he has a chin, he has a heart but I lost no rounds. It was a good performance for my C.V. I learned I can punch someone and not get the knockout. I was still motivated and kept trying. At the end of the day, I got the win and that’s the most important thing.”

After the win Butler took a well earned break with his family to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

“I went to Playa Del Carmel, Mexico with my two kids and wife,” he said. “My cousin lives there, he came to the hotel and we enjoyed some beautiful days with my family. When you are in training camp you spend more time at the gym than with you family. I took some moments with my family.”

Now he is zoned in on DeLuca and knows he can’t get ahead of himself and target other world title fights if he doesn’t take care of business.

“I’m very focused on this fight,” he explained. “I have a great opponent who is going to come to win. I’ve cannot think of what is next. I’ve got no plans after this fight. I’m hungry and excited. I want to get the victory.

“Take each fight as a step. I can’t say I want a world title after this. I fight this fight like it’s a world title because I know every fight is going to put me closer to a world title fight. I don’t want to just fight for a world title, I want to win [one.]”

DeLuca (28-3, 16 KOs) won his first 21 fights, largely on the East Coast before losing his unbeaten record to Walter Wright (SD 12). The Massachusetts native beat Wright (UD 10) in a rematch and also took Brandon Brewers unbeaten record by 10-round unanimous decision. DeLuca traveled to England and was stopped by Kell Brook (KO 7). The 34-year-old southpaw bounced back with four wins before losing to Edward Ulloa Diaz (UD 8) in April.

Makhmudov-Takam, plus undercard fights, will be shown on ESPN+. The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on 

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