RIMOUSKI | With the borders that will remain closed for several more weeks due to the pandemic, promoter Camille Estephan will continue to work on galas with a local flavor. Depending on what The Journal of Montreal has learned, Steven Butler will face Francis Lafrenière in a gala that will take place somewhere in January.
It is not yesterday that we hear of a duel between these two pugilists. The names of Lafrenière (20-7-2, 11 K.-O.) and Butler (28-2-1, 24 K.-O.) have already been placed in the same discussions in 2017 and 2018.
At that time, Lafrenière held two minor belts for the IBF (international) and the WBO (NABO) in the middleweight. Butler had challenged him in the public square, but the pride of Coteau-du-Lac had declined the offers that had been offered.
However, in 2018, he lost his NABO title in a loss against Albert Onolunose at the Casino de Montréal. The negotiations then collapsed. Lafrenière has won his last three duels, including a victory over Frank Cotroni Jr. which allowed him to get his hands on the vacant 160 lb Canadian title.
In recent weeks, he has been denied a fight against young sensation Edgar Berlanga by the Nevada Athletic Commission. The fight was scheduled to take place on December 12 in Las Vegas.
For Butler, it would be his return to the ring after a year of inactivity.
The last time he stepped into the ring, he suffered a technical knockout loss to Ryota Murata in a WBA World Championship bout staged in Japan in December 2019.
In the world of boxing, there are certain fights that happen too late in a boxer’s career. We are going to wish that Lafrenière and Butler’s did not fall into this category.
Meanwhile, in Rimouski, the weigh-in for the Eye of the Tiger Management (EOTTM) gala went off without a hitch on Friday.
Yves Ulysse (139.6 lbs) and Mathieu Germain (140 lbs) respected the weight limit without problems. The same goes for Steve Claggett (138.4) and David Théroux (139.4).
The other two fights on the program are also in order.
The COVID-19 tests carried out all came back negative, to Camille Estephan’s great satisfaction.
Speaking of the Saturday evening gala, EOTTM will have to negotiate with the presence of inspectors from the CNESST, the regional public health section and even the Sûreté du Québec (SQ). All the representatives of these entities are very picky about health measures.
Really not easy to organize a gala during a pandemic.
Heart against mind
When greeting people, Mathieu Germain places his fist on his heart.
It is a gesture that he makes in a systematic way.
The Montrealer knows full well that it is his determination that will win him this duel against Ulysses Jr.. Of course, he will have to apply the strategy established by his trainer, Mike Moffa, to the letter.
On the side of Ulysses Jr., his statements and his attitude in the last week continued to make people talk Friday at the Rimouski Hotel.
Which Yves Ulysse son will appear in the ring? The answer is still unclear.
We will finally have answers around 10:30 p.m. after the first bell.
♦ Marie-Pier Houle and Kim Clavel are still awaiting confirmation of a fight in Mexico next week. The two boxers had been standing ready for a fight for a few weeks.