Molitor ready to defend IBF title

28/08/2008

Molitor ready to defend IBF title

Press Release: After weeks of preparation, the wait has dwindled down to scant hours for IBF junior featherweight champion, "The Canadian Kid" Steve Molitor (27-0, 10 KOs), prior to his title defense against Argentine Ceferino Dario Labarda (18-0, 7 KOs) taking place at Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario. The fight airs live on TSN and TSN HD on Friday, Aug. 29 at 10:30 p.m. ET and will be available on-demand at TSN.ca following the conclusion of the live broadcast. Wednesday morning, Molitor and Labarda met face-to-face for the first time at the official pre-fight press conference, with both fighters eager to finally step into the ring.

"Labarda said he felt an illusion earlier that he was going to come over here and win. Well, come Friday night, I'll show he's right, it was an illusion," Molitor said. "I know he has everything to gain. But I'm not taking him, or anyone else, lightly. I'm ready."

While the quietly confident Labarda might be out of his element here in North America – he will be making his first professional appearance outside of Argentina – he's eager to show the world what he's capable of.

"I'm well prepared for this fight, like all my fights," Labarda said through an interpreter.

"Everywhere I go I put on a good show, and I'm going to win on Friday. I hope everybody enjoys the fight."

One guy ringside who won't be casually taking in the action Friday night is Molitor's new trainer, Stephane Larouche, who will be guiding his new charge through battle for the first time.

Larouche, for one, thinks of Labarda as more than just a sacrificial lamb brought in to be cannon fodder for the local hero, Molitor. "This guy (Labarda) is a tough challenger. He has nothing to lose. He's a good puncher, and has a good amateur background," Larouche said. "But Steve is going to be at the top of his game, and plans on keeping the belt here in Ontario."

Larouche, who also is chief second for IBF Super Middleweight champion Lucien Bute, and WBC Light Heavyweight champion Adrian Diaconu, has enjoyed working with Molitor, and is keen on bringing even more out of the undefeated champion. "Steve is so strong," Larouche said of his new protégé.

"He's much more powerful than most guys at 122 lbs. He just hasn't been able to show it yet."

"The thing is though is that he's such a great fighter, you don't want to try and change him in five weeks. That would be stupid."

Tickets are on-sale in-person at the Casino Rama Box Office, and at all TicketMaster locations, by calling (416) 870-8000, or ordering on-line at www.casinorama.com