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Ringside Report: Steve Molitor Reclaims World Title At Rumble At Rama XI

It took a year-and-a-half — a precarious stretch filled with lonely morning runs, grueling sparring sessions and a trio of hard fought ring victories, some of which led to more questions than answers.

But for Steve ‘The Canadian Kid’ Molitor, it was worth the work, and the wait, because on Saturday night he reclaimed the vacant IBF Junior Featherweight world title after scoring a unanimous decision victory over a tough but limited Takalani Ndlovu of South Africa.

The final scorecards read:  116-112, 117-111, and 115-113.

The 12-round main event may have lacked drama, but in many ways it was a typical Molitor victory — decided not with brute force, but sound technique and smooth ring generalship.

Molitor controlled most of the action, but vows that he would floor Ndlovu in similar fashion to their first fight in 2007 wouldn’t materialize.  His trainer, Chris Johnson, could be heard urging him on all night to let his hands fly and counter with combinations — a fight-plan Molitor seemed inexplicably hesitant to execute.

“My defence was on, he couldn’t touch me all night,” Molitor boasted at the post-fight press conference.  “But I wasn’t pulling my trigger with counters the way we worked in the gym.  If I performed the way I should have, it would have been another knockout, but we got the job done we got the “W.”

“He’s a tough fighter, but I don’t think he is as skilled as I am…He got beat up so bad the first time, he had nothing to lose this time and he fought a lot harder this time.”

Ndlovu’s camp seemed offended by the unanimous decision, and even stated they would protest the IBF, a suggestion that set off a peeved Johnson.

“I felt my man won 8 rounds to 4, it wasn’t even close.  The first four rounds he (Ndlovu) was afraid to punch.

“I saw the fight as a clear cut win, I just needed Steve to dominate more than he did.”

Fans who have come to embrace boxing at CasinoRama may be disappointed to learn that Molitor’s next title defence will likely take place elsewhere.

After a strong run at Rama, President of Orion Sports Management Allan Tremblay feels a change of scenery may be in order.

“It’s probably time,” he admitted.  “We’ve been at home for a long, long time, but it’s time from a marketing point of view to take Steve on the road.”

Tremblay didn’t confirm a location, but said a title defence could take place this summer in Europe, or elsewhere in Canada.

michael.talbot@citynews.rogers.com

UNDER-CARD RESULTS AND PHOTO GALLERY:

  • The Canadian Heavyweight Championship changed hands after Neven Pajkic stole the belt from Greg Kiesla after a unanimous decision victory.
  • Toronto’s Lisa “Bad News” Brown roughed up Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton to claim the vacant WBA Female Super Bantamweight title.
  • Mexico’s Fabian Ramirez knocked out Brantford’s Justin Fountain in the first round of a scheduled 6-rounder.
  • Felix Mercedes defeated Ivan Flores by unanimous decision in a welterweight bout.
  • Stephan Boyd defeated Jason Douglas in a super middleweight fight.

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