Boxing


Steve Molitor-Jason Booth IBF Super-Bantamweight Clash On Cards For July

by James Slater - Though it hasn't been announced officially yet, it seems there is a great chance Britain's long serving warrior Jason Booth will finally receive a shot at a world title in July. According to Boxrec.com, "Two Smooth," at the age of 32 and after having boxed as a pro for fourteen long years, will challenge IBF 122-pound ruler Steve Molitor on July 23rd in the U.K (exact venue to be announced)..

Though Canada's Molitor will likely be the favourite to win, Booth, 35-5(15) is a most deserving title challenger and his class, his heart and his desire will see to it that he gives "The Canadian Kid" a rough night at the very least. The former Commonwealth flyweight champion, the former British champion at the same weight and the reigning British and Commonwealth super-bantamweight champion, Booth's story is one well worth telling.

Back in the years 2005 and 2006, Booth was a full-blown alcoholic, yet he returned to the ring in late 2006 and made an astonishing comeback - eventually boxing as well as, if not better than, ever. A hard worker who is also blessed with genuine skill and talent, Booth really would put the icing on a fine career if he were to capture the IBF crown next month.

Molitor, though, now a two-time holder of the IBF super-bantam crown, will not lose his title easily. Indeed, the three previous times the 30-year-old southpaw with the 32-1(12) pro record boxed in the U.K, he won, and one of the wins was very close to Booth. Back in September of 2002, Molitor won a 12-round decision over Nicky Booth, Jason's brother, to win the Commonwealth bantamweight belt. So, not only will the chance to become a world champion inspire "Two Smooth," thoughts of revenge will do likewise.

Molitor actually became IBF 122-pound champ for the first time whilst boxing in England. Back in November of 2006, the gifted Canadian broke the heart of the undefeated Michael Hunter, stopping him in the 5th-round in his native Hartlepool. You can see, then, that Molitor has a very good track record when it comes to fighting in the U.K. As such, he will not be fazed at having to travel over here once again.

Since losing his IBF crown to the excellent Celestino Cabballero, via 4th-round stoppage in late 2008, in a fight that also contested the WBA super-bantam crown, Molitor has won four straight. In his last fight, he picked up the vacant IBF strap (that Caballero had vacated due to his moving up in weight) with a 12-round UD over South Africa's Takalani Ndlovu. This win came back in March, and now Moiltor will be looking to keep his belt against Booth.

Booth, who has been on a real roll lately, has won his last eight; since losing on points to the slick Ian Napa in a July 2007 British bantamweight title fight. Having bounced back from that blip to win the Commonwealth title at 118-pounds as well as the belts he now holds, the 32-year-old has beaten guys like the aforementioned Michael Hunter and Matthew Marsh. The Marsh win (a 11th-round TKO) took place in February, and now, some four months later, Nottingham's finest (begging Carl Froch's pardon!) will no doubt be in great shape for his largely unexpected, but well deserved, crack at winning world honours.

But can Booth give his long career the fairytale ending it deserves?

Sadly, I think not. Molitor is no huge puncher and at 30 he may be a little past his peak; therefore Booth has a genuine shot at pulling off a win. But at age 32, and after such a hard career and personal life, how much has Booth got left in the tank? Has this shot at a world title come a little too late for him?

The champion's southpaw stance is unlikely to overly affect Booth (he's been in with southpaw's before, most recently Mark Moran last April) and I see a good fight, a very close fight, that goes the distance. But In the end, though all his fans will be hoping otherwise, the decision will go to the younger, fresher man. Booth will have his moments, though.

Article posted on 07.06.2010



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