Return to ring for Molitor?

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:24 AM ET

Former world super bantamweight champion Steve Molitor will return to the ring tomorrow night.

And this time, he will not be beaten -- because he won't actually be fighting.

In a rather intriguing sidebar to tomorrow night's Rumble at Rama VII fight card, which will feature Mexican super bantamweight Heriberto Ruiz against Panamanian fighter Mauricio Martinez, Molitor will get into the ring and announce his future plans.

The Sarnia boxer's promoter, Allan Tremblay, was tight-lipped yesterday as to what Molitor's plans may entail, but it's expected that The Canadian Kid will announce his comeback to pro boxing, likely as soon as June.

Molitor, 28, was the undefeated IBF king when he lost his title, via a fourth-round TKO, to Panama's Celestino Caballero on Nov. 21 at the Rama Casino, near Orillia.

Tremblay said yesterday that Molitor wanted to fight on tomorrow's card. But the promoter believes The Canadian Kid wasn't mentally ready to return just yet.

"When a fighter losses a fight, it's a traumatic thing," Tremblay said. "When a world champion loses, it's even a greater fall. When you lose in front of your home crowd, in a unification fight, televised live all over the world, the fall is dramatic, and that's what happened to Steve. It takes time to heal from that.

"Everybody loses, it's how you return that counts. It takes time."

Since his loss to Caballero -- who will now defend the IBF and WBA titles to South Africa's Jeffery Mathebula on April 24 in Hollywood, Fla. -- Molitor has laid low, though that's not to say he hasn't been active in rebuilding his life. He has become a father and has been seeing a sports psychologist in advance of his ring comeback. He and Tremblay also have been looking after his long-term plans and, in that respect, he has secured a future job position with Brampton-based Triple M Metal.

"That is the biggest fear of a fighter, 'What am I'm going to do when my boxing career is over?'" Tremblay said. "So we've taken that (concern) away from him."

Another reason why Molitor, who dropped to 28-1 as a pro with the loss to Caballero, will be in attendance at Rama tomorrow is to see what Ruiz (40-7-2 23KOs) and Martinez (35-8-1 23KOs) bring to the table, as he may be fighting the winner in the not-so-distant future. Indeed, one of the reasons Tremblay decided to promote a fight card which will feature a couple of Latin American fighters with very little name-recognition in this country was to retain some influence in the super bantamweight division. Tremblay said the winner of tomorrow's fight will box either Molitor or Caballero, if the Panamanian is successful against Mathebula.

Despite the fact that the tomorrow's main event doesn't pack much name recognition, at least for Canadian fans, Tremblay said the card, the seventh in a series promoted by Orion Sports, almost is sold out. He said that proves the fight game is coming back in this province, where it long has been dying. There were predictions that, without Molitor on the card, tomorrow's event would be a box office bomb.

"I remember one Toronto writer was quick to dump on Molitor when he lost and wrote that it's the end of the experiment up at Rama, that boxing's over," Tremblay said. "Well, it ain't."

STEVE.BUFFERY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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