Boxing

Steve Molitor Retains IBF Super-Bantam Title With Majority Decision Over Jason Booth

By James Slater: Tonight in Tyne and Wear, England, Canada’s IBF super-bantamweight champion Steve Molitor retained his title with a close, nip-and-tuck points win over the classy Jason Booth. “The Canadian Kid” was given plenty to think about by Nottingham’s Booth - who was really aiming to top an amazing comeback that saw him return from a severe bout against alcohol - but in the end the bigger man had a little too much for the man known as “2-Smooth.”

Prevailing by scores of 116-113, 116-112 and 114-114, southpaw Molitor improved to 33-1(12) in making the first defence of his second reign as IBF 122-pound champ. Booth, who really gave his all tonight, fell to 35-6(15).

The 1st-round saw a cautious start, with both guys taking a good look at each other. Molitor, beaten only by the superb Celestino Caballero, looked so much the bigger man. In the 2nd and 3rd-rounds, however, Booth came on strong and bossed the action with his class and aggression. Molitor also suffered a cut to his left eye in the 2nd, and he looked uncomfortable.

Booth was again much faster and more active in the 4th, and Molitor looked less than impressive. In the 5th, the defending champion finally came to life, throwing punches in bunches and working the challenger’s midsection. The rounds were still close, though, and the judges earned their wages tonight.

The 6th belonged to the champion, and he looked so much the more powerful man. The cut to the left eye didn’t really bother Molitor too much, as his corner did a good job on the damage. By the 7th it looked like Molitor, the younger man by two years at age 30, was taking over, but Booth was still lively and still ultra-game. The action was good to watch, and the crowd was well into it.

Booth was still able to push the stronger man back in the 8th, and neither guy was looking tired. But then, later in the 8th, Molitor had Booth in some trouble along the ropes as he fired away with both hands, mostly his powerful left hand. Booth was still popping away with shots in the 9th, but the champion was noticeably more powerful and dangerous.

Molitor upped his workrate yet again in the 10th, but Booth was once again willing to fire back and trade with him - the “Cinderella Man” challenger really was showing some guts in there. The two clashed heads in the 11th, and Molitor suffered a cut high on his head.

Booth was still classy in the 11th, but now he was looking tired. Molitor, too, was feeling it, and the two men were digging deep. The penultimate round really was a tough one to score! It was a spirited effort by both in the 12th and final round also, with both guys slinging plenty of shots. Molitor was the more accurate of the two, however, and he shaded the session.

Both men had much respect at the end, and though the fight was close no-one could complain too much at how the judges scored it. Booth can come again, and Molitor may well reign for a while yet.

Article posted on 11.09.2010



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