IBF champ on defensive

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

World boxing champion Steve Molitor of Toronto is hoping to bag The Panther on July 14 at Casino Rama in Orillia.

A media conference will be held today to confirm the card.

Molitor, 23-0 with nine knockouts, will put his IBF world super-bantamweight title up for grabs against Takalani (The Panther) Ndlovu of South Africa. Ndlovu, a native of Soweto, is 27-3 with 17 knockouts.

Ndlovu's most recent fight was a 12-round split decision over Ricardo Castillo in Cicero, Ill.

The title defence will be Molitor's first since he scored a fifth-round knockout of British brawler Michael Hunter on Nov. 10, 2006, in Hartlepool, England.

That bout was considered a turning point in Molitor's career, not only securing the win and the title, but the fact that he defeated a favoured opponent in the other guy's backyard.

Molitor, a southpaw, was out-boxed in the first three rounds against Hunter, but took charge in the fourth when he nailed the Brit with a straight right. He then ended the proceedings by flooring Hunter with a series of left hooks in the fifth.

Molitor's promotion team, Orion Sports, is hoping that a good showing next month against Ndlovu will be the start of a series of home defences. Molitor has fought many of his biggest fights in England or in the U.S.

Given his weight class (122 pounds) and the fact that boxing's popularity is at a low ebb in Ontario these days, Molitor has yet to become a household name in Canada.

He also has had to fight and train with several lawsuits hovering over his head, launched by individuals who claim that his boxing rights belong to them.


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