Sharkie’s Machine: Caballero TKO’s Molitor in Four!

boxingBy Frank Gonzalez Jr. November 21, 2008 - Photo: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME -- Friday night at the Casino Rama in Ontario, Steve “The Canadian Kid” Molitor (28-1, 11 KO’s) lost his first pro fight and his Junior Featherweight IBF (122-pound) title in front of his Canadian fans in a short fight against the tall Panamanian, WBA titlist Celestino “Pelenchin” Caballero (31-2, 22 KO’s).

Molitor, who stands at five-foot-seven and is basically a technical boxer that looks to counter-punch his way to victory. He entered the ring undefeated. Celestino Caballero, at five-foot-eleven may be the tallest Jr. Bantamweight I’ve ever seen and he didn’t come to box but to destroy his opponent with long armed aggression. He used his superior range, jabs and combination punching to control Steve Molitor from outside where his long reach proved quite effective.

Molitor wasn’t able to get into any kind of rhythm but was getting clocked in every round. Though Molitor landed a few decent shots, here and there, they were few and far between.. He spent most of his energy defending himself against the tall, lean, punching machine in front of him. From the first round on, it was all Caballero, imposing his will on Molitor with just about everything he threw. Molitor was truly in over his head in this one.

This went on for three rounds. Before the bell sounded to end the third, Caballero landed a combination to the face that stunned Molitor. At the start of the fourth round, Caballero followed up where he left off in the third. He smelled blood and went for the kill, as he chased Molitor around the ring, tagging him with shots along the way until Molitor found himself against the ropes, where Caballero picked him apart. After landing a body shot, followed by a shot to the head—Molitor went down. He got up by the count of five looking stunned. As soon as action resumed, Caballero went right after him, in the same spot against the ropes, where he penetrated Molitor’s failing guard with four unanswered shots that saw him on the verge of collapse. Noting the look in Molitor’s eyes, the referee, Luis Pabon stepped between them and waved it off. It was over. The stoppage was a fair one. And this should be a great lesson for Molitor that hopefully, makes him a better fighter in the future.

Celestino Caballero was very emotional after the win, crying incessantly, as threw himself to the canvas. His corner people lifted him up and paraded him around the ring. Caballero raised his arms in victory, as the crowd at the Casino Rama headed for the exits.

Caballero was gracious and showed his respect to Molitor and his corner people. He was then interviewed by Steve Farhood, who asked who he wants to fight next. Caballero was quick to call out Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez, making a statement that the two Mexicans should pull up their pants and step up to meet him in the ring. I don’t know what the hell that means but I’m sure it wasn’t a compliment.

Vazquez and Marquez are two of the most exciting fighters in boxing. Many fight fans would love to see them fight each other again. With Caballero’s range and ring demeanor, he would surely present either of them with a challenging fight. Now that Caballero’s the WBA and IBF titlist, that’s a powerful incentive for Vazquez to take him up on his offer. This is even more an incentive for Marquez, who currently has no title, since Vazquez took it from him in their last incredible fight.

Vazquez is even shorter than Molitor but packs at least triple the power of the Canadian boxer. Vazquez has a hell of a chin and is willing to take a beating to deliver one. Same with Marquez, who may be the best “boxer” of the three. Like Paul Williams at Welterweight, Caballero’s size will present difficulties for anyone in the division since like Williams, Caballero knows how to ‘fight tall.’ But guys like Marquez and Vazquez are not to be trifled with. They know how to fight well on the inside, a place where Caballero would be vulnerable to body attacks and uppercuts that could turn out the lights real quick. The lighter weight divisions offer up some of the boldest fighters in boxing and it looks like 2009 will be another exciting year for the Jr. Bantamweight division.

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Article posted on 22.11.2008

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