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DiBella: Steve Rolls Is Not Some Bum, Butt Of Golovkin Jokes

By Keith Idec

Lou DiBella took one look at Twitter late Tuesday afternoon and determined entirely too many boxing fans are unfamiliar with Steve Rolls.

DiBella, whose company promotes Rolls, told on Tuesday night that they’re making a mistake if they’re sleeping on Rolls. Same goes for Gennady Golovkin, the former middleweight champion who’s heavily favored to defeat Toronto’s Rolls on June 8 at Madison Square Garden.

The Golovkin-Rolls fight was officially announced Tuesday afternoon by DAZN, the streaming service with which Golovkin signed a six-fight contract last month. The 37-year-old Golovkin was expected to face a far less imposing opponent than Canelo Alvarez in his DAZN debut because Golovkin hopes to square off against Alvarez a third time later this year.


Representatives for Brandon Adams and Hassan N’Dam were among those with whom Golovkin’s handlers negotiated before finalizing a deal with DiBella for the Kazakh knockout artist to battle Rolls. Adams (21-2, 13 KOs), who won season five of “The Contender” in November, opted for a more lucrative offer to challenge WBC interim middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (28-0, 21 KOs) in June in Charlo’s native Houston.

The 35-year-old Rolls, meanwhile, jumped at the chance to prove himself at the championship level versus Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs). Rolls is 19-0, including 10 knockouts, but he hasn’t faced anyone nearly as dangerous as Golovkin and has been scheduled for just one 10-round fight before he agreed to challenge Golovkin.

DiBella doesn’t think Rolls is in over his head, however huge of an underdog odds-makers might consider him.

“Steve Rolls is not some bum,” DiBella said. “He’s not the butt of a joke. Now, I’m not sitting here predicting that he’s gonna go beat Triple-G. He’s one of the best middleweights in the history of the sport. We know what we’re up against. It’s a very tough fight, a dangerous fight. We know Steve is a huge underdog, but he’s a real fighter. He was a really good amateur. He fought in international competitions all over the world. He’s a guy Emanuel Steward liked enough to sign and bring to the Kronk Gym. Unfortunately, Emanuel never got to do with Steve what he thought he could do because Emanuel got sick.”

Steward, a legendary trainer from Detroit, died due to complications from stomach cancer in November 2012, about 18 months after Rolls turned pro.

In June 2017, Rolls upset favored Demond Nicholson (then 17-1-1) by split decision in an eight-rounder Showtime televised as part of its “ShoBox: The New Generation” series.

In his last bout, Rolls won the USBA middleweight title by soundly defeating KeAndrae Leatherwood (21-6-1, 13 KOs). He beat Leatherwood by unanimous decision in a 10-rounder December 15 in Toronto.

“He’s a guy who works really hard and who’s always in great shape,” DiBella said. “He has wanted fights that he couldn’t get the other guys to take. It hasn’t been from a lack of trying on our part that he hasn’t had a big fight before now. He beat Steed Woodall on ‘ShoBox.’ And then he beat Demond Nicholson in a ‘ShoBox’ fight most people thought Nicholson would win. Steve Rolls can fight. He doesn’t deserve this disrespect he’s getting on social media.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Curtis Harper on 04-17-2019

A promoter saying their guy isn't a bum ?!?!?!?! [B][U]#SHOCKINGAF[/U][/B] !!!!

Comment by j0zef on 04-17-2019

Uhm.. yeah he is. It's a horrible opponent. I understand DAZN wanting to preserve Golovkin, but they should gotten some balls and made Golovkin-Andrade. It's ridiculous that they didn't.

Comment by REYESdelBOXEO on 04-17-2019

🤡THE BIG DRAMA BUM SHOW🤮 Mr. 97K vs. Mr. Ranked #97

Comment by Sweet_Science2 on 04-17-2019

So this bum hasn't been scheduled for a 12 round fight his entire career? Pussie g is pathetic. His resume is complete filth. Lil g stays bum hunting. Charlo or Andrade don't deserve a fight but this bum does? His…

Comment by aboutfkntime on 04-17-2019

[QUOTE=paulf;19666822]It takes multiple missed tests to result in a suspension in amateur boxing. I don't know how many tests your allowed to miss within what timeframe, but it wasn't until he missed the third test that USADA suspended Lenroy Thompson…

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