Steve ‘The Canadian Kid’ Molitor is sick and tired of being referred to as the ‘former’ champion of the Junior Featherweight division.
It’s been a year-and-a-half since rangy power-puncher Celestino Caballero wrested the belt from the Sarnia, Ontario native via knockout, but Molitor will have the opportunity to once again revel in the glories attached to a world title when he clashes with Takalani “The Panther” Ndlovu for the vacant belt during the main event of Saturday’s Rumble at Rama XI.
Caballero gave up the title to move up in weight, making way for the clash between two familiar foes, ranked number 1 (Ndlovu) and 2 (Molitor) by the IBF.
Molitor earned a 9th round KO win over Ndlovu in 2007, but his one-time victim has gone undefeated since. Despite his opponent’s recent success in the squared circle, Molitor appeared supremely confident at Thursday’s press conference.
“We just have the mentality that we know what’s going to happen Saturday night,” he said.
During a previous media workout, Ndlovu accused Molitor of choking during his unsuccessful title defence against Caballero.
On Thursday, Ndlovu put the trash talking aside.
“This is a vacant title fight, we are both challengers,” he said respectfully. “I’m number 1 (ranked) and he’s number 2. It’s an honour to be back, I’m ready.”
Molitor wasn’t impressed.
“This guy talked so much shit at the media workout, but they’re quiet as mice today, nothing but respect and fear today,” Molitor noted.
“And that’s fine we know what’s going to happen Saturday.”
Molitor’s trainer, Chris Johnson, was even more brazen.
“You came here before and you got your ass whupped,” he told Ndlovu from the podium. “And you travelled again to get your ass whupped again. But the only thing this time that’s going to be different…is how long it takes you to get off that canvas.”
Johnson later explained his foul mood.
“We had something and it was taken away from us, so the reality is we have to get it back and we’re more focused and more driven than we’ve ever been.”
For Molitor it’s been a long year-and-a-half, and he maintains the phrase ‘former champ’ will soon be erased.
“I want it back more than anything. To be at the top and be the champion and have everyone have so much love and respect for you…and to actually be the champ and then to be knocked off that pedestal and be the former champ, you know the pay days are smaller, there’s not as much hype around you, it sucks.
“I have a chance to get that back so I’m taking full advantage of it.”
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