Molitor KO's his promoters

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

Steve Molitor, the IBF world junior featherweight champion and arguably the most popular professional boxer in Canada, has jumped ship, but is leaving a boatload of disappointment and bitterness in his wake, and perhaps even a lawsuit.

Molitor confirmed to Sun Media last night that he has left Orion Sports, his Canadian management firm, but wouldn't confirm reports that he is signing on with New Jersey-based boxing agent Murad Muhammad. The Sarnia boxer said his reason for leaving manager James Jardine and promoter Allan Tremblay is strictly a business decision and there is no animosity towards either.

"I fought the last four fights for the same price, no bonuses, no raises, even though I asked for more money numerous times," Molitor, 28, said. "I helped build that company. I packed the casino. I put on great shows.

"In my world, money talks, I have to be honest with you," added Molitor, known as the Canadian Kid. "I love boxing, but I have to get paid what is fair. Every time I fight could be my last day on earth. Boxing is a dangerous sport.

"I have a brother (Jeremy) in prison. I have to take care of him when he gets out. I have a family to take care of. I have to make as much money as I can in a very short window. I'm grateful for what everyone has done for me. But I have to do what is right for me. If another Toronto newspaper offered you triple the money you make now, you would go work for them, wouldn't you?"

What is especially disappointing for Jardine and Tremblay is that they had just lined up a lucrative unification bout between the undefeated Molitor, 27-0, and WBC champion Celestino Caballero, 28-2, which would have been held at Casino Rama near Orillia. Jardine said that fight would have paid Molitor $175,000 and opened the door for even more lucrative paydays down the road if he had won. Before that, Jardine and Tremblay had negotiated an Aug. 29 date at Rama for a voluntary defence of Molitor's title -- which would have paid him $100,000.

"Somehow, this snake (Muhammad) got ahold of him and told him that he was going to give him a million dollars a year," a bitter Jardine said last night, adding that he is particularly disappointed for Tremblay. "Allan made him a star. Allan is a straight-shooting guy and he did a lot of things for Steve."

Tremblay said he is contemplating launching a lawsuit against Molitor who, he said, is under contract to Orion Sports.

"But I haven't made up my mind," Tremblay said. "I've been with him for so darn long, to me he was more like a son ... or was. I'm not sure I want to even bother with it.

"What's really disappointing is that for the last eight or nine days, he didn't return my calls ... he just walked away, no communication at all. If someone offers you more money, at least have the balls to pick up the phone."

Tremblay said Molitor is walking into "a disaster" that is Murad Muhammad.

Muhammad promoted Manny Pacquiao until the Filipino boxing star filed suit against him in U.S. court in New York, alleging the promoter and his business managers bilked him out of more than 30% of his money and left him with a huge tax liability. Muhammad, a former security guard for world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, is a highly controversial figure in pro boxing, an industry where controversy is par for the course.

"No network will touch Muhammad," Tremblay said. "This is just a tragedy for Steve."


Videos

Photos