Meet Steve Rolls, Canada’s Middleweight Boxing Icon

@theScore  Steve Rolls

If you don’t know the name Steve Rolls, take note. At 17 years old, this Chatham, Ontario native was one of the oldest kids to embark on a boxing career. Today, with only one loss under his belt and more than 20 wins accrued over the course of his professional career, Steve Rolls is Canada’s top middle-weight boxer, and he’s not planning to stop punching any time soon.

Rolls was introduced to the world of boxing by a high school friend who thought he had untapped potential and a good swing. An athletic kid packed with raw talent, Rolls had stepped away from sports only to find his way back years later, this time into a boxing ring. Fast forward to present day and while other boxers are nearing or passed retirement, Steve is in his prime, and with less mileage slowing him down, he’s setting his sights on what lies ahead.
Once he got started with boxing, Rolls quickly became one of the most dedicated amateur boxers in the city, clocking around 100 fights and becoming a two-time provincial champion. Rolls was also a member of the Canadian national boxing team from 2009 to 2010, heading to Milan for the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Men’s Boxing Champion where he lost in the round of 16 to Olympic Bronze Medalist Vijender Singh. It was in 2011, at the age of 27 that Steve made the decision to go pro.


Steve Rolls-Tommy Howat  

Steve Rolls and Ryan Grant

Tommy Howat, Patrice Volny, Steve Rolls, Shakeel Phinn and Ryan Grant

Training like a Champion
Until June of 2019, Steve’s record in professional boxing remained one of an undefeated Canadian champion. “Meet Steve Rolls”. In June 2019, Steve was holding camp at West End Athletic Club, preparing for the biggest match of his career against Kazakhstani boxer Gennady Golovkin, better known as Triple G.

Steve Rolls, Patrice Volny and Shakeel Phinn

Shakeel Phinn, Steve Rolls, Vinny Cappuccitti, Patrice Volny and Tommy Howat

“I’ve come across many great athletes both professional and amateur … and I essentially live in a gym…. so, I thought I’ve seen it all. Until I met Mr. Rolls. I’ve yet to see or experience any man with the work ethic and heart that he has. To see him train for the biggest fight of his life was nothing short of inspiring and amazing.” – Vinny Cappuccitti, owner West End Athletic Club

Steve Rolls and DAZNboxing       @daznboxing  @dazn_ca

For Steve Rolls, match-day training means a lot of hard work and long days, filled with running, sparing, and back-to-back sessions up to three times a day. When asked how he prepares himself for an upcoming match, Steve admits there was no special sauce, chalking every victory up to hard work and dedication.

Steve Rolls vs GGG at Madison Square Garden    @JeffLockartPhoto

Steve Rolls vs GGG at Madison Square Garden    @JeffLockartPhoto

Steve Rolls vs GGG at Madison Square Garden    @JeffLockartPhoto

Steve’s match against GGG took place on at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the World’s Most Famous Arena and the Meca of Boxing for professional fighters. At the time, Golovkin was on his way to becoming two-time world champion, and the match resulted in Rolls’ first ever professional loss and a big pill to swallow for the undefeated middleweight.

Gennadiy GGG Golovkin vs Steve Rolls – “40 DAYS – ASPIRE” – Episode 2

Steve Rolls      @mettenielsenphotography

Steve Rolls      @mettenielsenphotography

When we asked Steve if he’d be up for a rematch with Golovkin, he didn’t skip a beat. While he counts the days until he has the chance to even the score, he knows he has a lot of work to do beforehand and he’s staying focused on getting it done.  Nowadays, Rolls feels very optimistic about his future in boxing with plans to start back up exactly where he left off – on top.

The Harder you Work, the Luckier you Get
For the time being, Steve splits his training time between Canada and the US, where he’ll continue training throughout the winter months alongside veteran coach Javan “Sugar” Hill. When in town, Steve still trains at the West End Athletic Club, supporting his local ring and getting ready for the next big fight. “They are all such great people, the whole Cappuccitti family. They were a big part in my career in terms of always giving me a home to train at when I need to keep sharp.”-Steve Rolls

Steve Rolls and Vinny Cappuccitti

Silvia Cappuccitti, Steve Rolls, Anna Cappuccitti and Jimmy Cappuccitti

Danny Cappuccitti, Vinny Cappuccitti, Steve Rolls, Silvia Cappuccitti      @annefrazer_to

We asked Masood Popal, close friend and member of Steve’s camp his take on Steve. This is what he had to say: “Steve is in the best shape of his life right now, he’s ready! We went to Florida for training camp with SugarHill. Had camp with some great pros like Anthony Dirrell. Steve did amazing in both the training and sparring sessions. We’ve been training at West End for the last year pretty much exclusively and it’s been perfect! West End has kept us ready and we are so thankful for that!” – Masood Popal

Steve Rolls and “Sugar” Hill     

The old saying goes, the harder you work, the luckier you get, and Steve is a shining example of an athlete whose hard-work, perseverance, and dedication to his craft has certainly paid off. Despite the challenges of the past year, one which has halted the career of many high performance athletes, Steve is heading into 2021 determined to emerge in the best shape of his life and make the ultimate return. “I made some changes to my team, some necessary changes that are going to benefit me in the near future. This pandemic has meant setbacks for everybody but I’m looking forward to a major comeback.” -Steve Rolls

Arden Jobling-Hey is a Freelance Writer based in Toronto, Ontario specializing in Health & Wellness, Travel and Non-Profit