RAMA, Ont. — There was precious little action during Saturday’s IBF world junior featherweight title bout between Sarnia’s Steve Molitor and South Africa’s Takalani Ndlovu.
But there was a lot of blood. Bad blood.
Deep into the night, long after Molitor was awarded a unanimous decision at Casino Rama, the Ndlovu camp complained about the judging. In a rather strange twist though, Ndlovu’s father and trainer, Stanley, didn’t actually contend that they were robbed by the judges, but insisted that the IBF review the scorecards nonetheless.
Stanley Ndlovu was upset that the close fight in the ring was not scored as close on the scorecards, though one judge, the Canadian Kelly Zolnierczyk, deemed it 115-113 Molitor.
Ironically, it was the judge from Ndlovu’s own nation, Deon Dwarte, who scored it the most one-sided in Molitor’s favour. Dwarte had it 117-111, while Andre Pasquier of France scored it 116-112 Molitor.
“I watched Molitor (before the scores were read) and I think he was unsure he won the fight,” Takalani Ndlovu said.
During Stanley Ndlovu’s post-fight rant about the scoring, Molitor’s trainer, Chris Johnson, pretended to cough, with the cough sounding much like an profanity, prompting an angry rebuttal from Stanley Ndlovu.
“Manners go a long way,” he said. “If your parents teach you the ins and the outs of respect and another person is speaking, you need to relax and listen.”
It’s doubtful the IBF will review the scorecards, but one thing is certain. Molitor certainly did not have his best fight against Ndlovu, though the Toronto Sun scored the bout seven rounds to four for Molitor, with one even. And the 29-year-old Mississauga-based pro will have to step it up when he defends his title or when he fights another unification bout.
“It was probably a B minus,” Molitor said in grading his performance. “My defence was on. He couldn’t touch me, minus 10 seconds left in the fight when I got this cut (over my left eye) with the right hand. But I wasn’t pulling the trigger on my counters the way Chris wanted me to. Chris was pissed at me, and rightly so.
“I’d give Steve a little lower mark,” Johnson said. “I’d probably give him a C plus. He wasn’t pulling the trigger and I had to get on him all night to let go.”
As for his next bout, Molitor’s promoter, Allan Tremblay is looking at a voluntary defence, likely in the summer and then possibly a unification fight against WBO champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.
“I’d like the WBO title bout with Vazquez Jr. for a couple of reasons,” Tremblay said. “Vazquez beat Marvin Sonsona and I would mind a little personal revenge there.”
The Toronto-based promoter has a piece of Sonsona, a fighter out of the Philippines, who fought at Casino Rama twice last year.
Vazquez is 18-0-1 with 15 KOs, while Molitor is 32-1 with 12 KOs.
Tremblay believes that the 29-year-old Molitor is still working his way back to peak form since his lone defeat, a beating at the hands of Panama’s Celestino Caballero on Nov. 21, 2008 for the IBF and WBA titles. Molitor has fought four times since the Caballero bout, and has won all four, but hasn’t looked particularly impressive.
“I’ve seen this with a lot of fighters,” Tremblay said. “It doesn’t all come back at once. When he came back after the eight month layoff (following Caballero) and fought (Heriberto) Ruiz (a 12-round split decision) his confidence was shakey.
“But there’s no better boxer in the division, that’s for darn sure,” Tremblay added. “He has just got to work more on the counters and the offence.”