Caballero Stops Molitor In Four

22.11.08 - Bill Calogero, - Celestino Caballero dominated Steve Molitor through four rounds to add the IBF Super Bantamweight Title to his WBA Super Bantamweight Belt from the Casino Rama in Ontario, Canada Friday night. The contest was broadcast live on ShowTime’s ShoBox Series. Caballero used his height and arm reach advantage by dictating the fight from the opening bell. He was able to land his jab, followed by right hands almost at will to a seemly defenseless Steve Molitor..

At the end of round three, a second before the bell sounded, an uppercut stunned Molitor. In his corner, he assured his team he was fine and was ready to go out for the fourth. As the fourth round began, Caballero continued his assault. Caballero threw a left that landed flush into Molitor’s mid-section and followed that with a solid right that dropped Steve Molitor. He was up quickly, but was still glassy eyed.

When the fight continued, Caballero went to work, unleashing a flurry of punches, again catching Molitor with an uppercut. As his knees buckled and appearing to be going down again, referee Luis Pabon waived off the contest, almost exactly at the same time as Molitor’s corner threw in the towel.

The official time was 52 seconds of the 4th round, giving Celestino the TKO win and added another World Title belt, unifying the Super Bantamweight class. Celestino Caballero made his 6th successful title defense and improves his record to 31-2 (22 KOs) and was immediately calling out the rest of the Super Bantamweight Titlests. He wants ALL of the major belts in the Super Bantamweight Division.

Steve Molitor suffered the first defeat of his career, dropping to 28-1 (11 KOs).

Although I personally picked Molitor to win this fight, I can’t help but think that this is some of the problems with the fight game today. In my opinion, Molitor was exposed last night. His record leading up to this fight was against questionable opposition and the outcome was, simply put, he was out-classed from start to finish at the Casino Rama.

The fact that MOST fighters seem to be over-protected in today’s fight game is why the boxing public can make statements like “he is finished” after a fighter loses for the first or second time of his career. If the fighters were fighting quality opponents along the way up, then when they get the opportunity to fight the best, they will perform better. The fighters of yesterday did that. They learned “on the job” and the fact that they ALL did it, the boxing fans had no problem accepting a loss as fighters rose to the top. All of the greats suffered losses, but were able to learn from them and move on. They were and still, to this day are perceived as being great. The only way to be the best is to fight and beat the best.

We need to get back to this way of thinking in Pro Boxing. If you look back at all of the greats, most have several and some have many losses. For the most part, none of the losses suffered has hurt their legacy. What DOES hurt a legacy is when a fighter is exposed and then never comes back, or never gets the chance again. We are hearing those EXACT rumblings about Former Champion, Jeff Lacy.

For Steve Molitor, in my opinion, this is in no way his last fight. I think he learned something last night, but it’s something I believe he should have experienced earlier in his career. I think he and his team will go back to the gym and make the necessary adjustments so when we see him again, he will be an improved Steve Molitor.

As for Celestino Caballero, he showed that he could travel into someone’s home turf and control the fight. He was focused and determined. He got the job done and is deserving of both his belts. He also deserves shots at the WBC, WBO and IBO belts. This was a great fight for Celestino Caballero and for his country of Panama. Speaking of Panama, I think if the GREAT, Former Multi-World Champion Roberto Duran eats one more doughnut, he may burst!


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Article posted on 22.11.2008

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