Can Steve Molitor Lead a Boxing Boom in Ontario?

molitor15.07.07 - By Paul McCreath: In recent years boxing has not exactly been thriving in the Province of Ontario, Canada. Unlike its neighboring Province of Quebec where especially in Montreal there is a real boom underway, boxing has been in the doldrums for years in Ontario. There are few active fighters and usually only about two or three cards promoted each year.

One of the problems has been the requirement that anyone doing business with any of the province's casinos was required to have a provincial gaming license. Since casinos are normally the main boxing centers around the rest of North America and no promoter had the required license in Ontario, the best potential sites to hold boxing cards were not available.

Now all that has changed. Orion Sports Management, the company that promotes Steve Molitor, the IBF Super Bantamweight champion, have obtained the necessary license and on Saturday night they put on at Casino Rama the first major boxing event in Ontario in over 20 years. The casino is located near the City of Orillia, about an hour and a half north of Toronto.

In the main event, Steve Molitor of Sarnia Ontario, was defending his IBF title against the #1 contender,the South African Takalani Ndlovu, who went into the fight with a 27-2 record with 17 KOs. Molitor was 23-0 with 9 KOs. The events center was packed with a sold out crowd of around 6000 fans, the largest crowd to see a pro boxing card in Ontario in many years.

The fight itself did not disappoint. Molitor is not your usual Canadian fighter, the all action hard punching type like Arturo Gatti or George Chuvalo. Steve is more the fancy stylist with fast hands and feet to go with a solid defense. He is a pleasure to watch with his foxy moves confounding his foes. His one weakness seemed to be the lack of a big punch. Now that too has changed. Steve has discovered punching power and how!

This new found power showed itself to the world last November when Steve traveled to the hostile environs of Hartlepool, England to snatch the vacant IBF title from local favorite Michael Hunter with a stunning 5th round stoppage. It was no fluke.
Saturday night we saw that power again. For eight rounds the two well conditioned fighters fought a close tactical battle with Ndlovu forcing the pace and Molitor skittering away with deft moves and countering with flurries to the head and body.Suddenly in the 9th it was all over.

While there were eventually three knockdowns, it was one terrific right hand to the head that effectively ended matters. When Ndlovu rose on unsteady legs, Molitor was on him like a hungry tiger and it was not long before the referee saved the African from further punishment. Steve now has ample power to go with his fine technical skills and the fans loved it. He has now won four in a row by stoppage.

Now Orion Sports are planning more cards around the province with another penciled in for Casino Rama in October. With the casino now in the picture and the popular Molitor to headline at least some of the cards, things are looking up. While it may be a bit premature to say we are facing a boom just yet, there are a lot of reasons to be very optimistic about the future of boxing in Ontario.

Article posted on 15.07.2007

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