Molitor Fight Results

By Geoff Roberts


Molitor Fight Results

Appearing much-improved, Steve Molitor, IBF Junior Featherweight Champion, looking every bit the world-class fighter he is, once more displayed his fistic talents before an enthusiastic crowd in Ontario’s Casino Rama’s Entertainment Center Friday night.

Molitor’s calculated defeat of Argentina’s Ceferino Labarda was the highlight of an entertaining fight card.  But if there were any doubts regarding Labarda’s readiness for this fight, they were not dispelled during the contest.  The first few rounds suggested he was there to fight and win, but though he could fight, win was out of the question.

Like Molitor, the young Argentine is a southpaw. He is also a willing mixer reminiscent of,  but not as experienced or polished, as the Canadian’s last two opponents from south of the US border.  Fast, aggressive, always moving in, he was confident-at least early on-he would take the IBF Championship belt home to Argentina with him as he had boasted before the match.   He overlooked the fact that Molitor had an agenda of his own.  The
belt and the title weren’t going anywhere.  But Labarda was-as soon as Molitor could arrange it.

The arrangement took ten rounds.Molitor, never easy to hit, eluded many of Labarda’s blows, and, while doing so, regularly rewarded his opponent’s endeavours with some telling shots of
his own, which usually landed with an admirable precision and inflicted maximum damage.

Although Labarda early in the fight had begun to accumulate hints that his quest for the belt was not going to bear fruit, the punishment he received throughout the fifth round had to reshape his thinking and shatter his dream of a victory over the hard-punching Canadian.The Argentine possessed a quick right hook which he threw with regularity at Molitor’s head and body during the first two rounds and throughout the fight, but moving into the third, the Canadian steadily and surely took control of the match.

After the pounding the gutsy Argentinean received in the fifth, it was obvious to most people present that the Canadian had the fight in the bag and that it was now only a matter of time for his opponent. In the seventh round the combatants’ heads collided resulting in a cut for Labarda.  When the bell concluded the round, he pointed the injury out to referee Charlie Fitch, but when the match resumed in the eighth, Labarda’s corner had taken care of it.

In the closing seconds of the ninth round, a battered, bleeding Labarda went down before Molitor’s onslaught.  With only seconds remaining in the round, he gamely pulled himself to his feet and returned to the one-sided battle.The tenth round saw the end of the fray when Charlie Fitch stopped the fight to save the bleeding, reeling, young Argentine from further punishment.   No one in the packed auditorium questioned the referee’s decision to halt proceedings at that point.  It was simply the right thing to do.

Molitor, now with a record (28-0, 11 Kos), is looking forward to a try and arrange a title unification match with WBA  Champion Celestino Caballero (29-2, 20 KOs). If he gets his wish, the fight could be scheduled for November 21st at Casino Rama.