RAMA, Ont. -- Former IBF junior featherweight champion Steve Molitor announced last night that he will return to the boxing ring at Casino Rama on June 26.
Molitor will face Heriberto Ruiz of Mexico, who defeated Mauricio Martinez of Panama by unanimous decision for the IBF junior featherweight Inter Continental championship in the main event at Rumble at Rama VII last night.
Molitor was in the ring prior to the fight between Ruiz and Martinez as promoter Allan Tremblay announced that the Sarnia native would face the winner of the bout.
"There's nothing I want to do more than to bring a title back here," Molitor said in a interview. "It's great news and I'm excited to be back."
After five successful title defences, Molitor lost the IBF title in a unification bout with Celestino Caballero in November. Caballero knocked out Molitor in the fourth round in a match that was seen as make-or-break for both fighters' careers.
NEAR ANOTHER TITLE SHOT
Tremblay explained that if Molitor were to win on June 26, that would give him the IBF's top ranking and set him up for another shot at a title.
Ruiz defeated Martinez in a hard-fought match that went the full 12 rounds. The ringside judges scored the bout 115-113, 117-111 and 116-112 for Ruiz.
In the card's co-feature, Greg Kielsa retained the Canadian heavyweight championship with a eighth-round knockout of Arthur Cook.
Kielsa (9-0, 4 KOs) landed a devastating left hook just over a minute into the round that sent Cook to the canvas. Cook (14-5-2, 5 KOs) managed to get back to his feet before collapsing into the ropes as the referee called the fight.
The chiseled 6-foot-4 fighter was defending the title for the first time since winning it last November and was dominant for most of the fight. Kielsa never really seemed to be in trouble against the much heavier Cook, who weighed in at 254 pounds.
Through the first three rounds, Kielsa held a slight edge but in the fourth, Kielsa really began pounding Cook with some heavy body shots and combinations.
But none of it seemed to trouble Cook, who began taunting Kielsa in the fifth by coming at the Canadian champion with his arms at his side or above his head, before hitting him with a flurry -- a tactic which brought big cheers from the crowd but did little to hurt Kielsa.
"I knew he would try to play with me," Kielsa said. "But what can I say? It's not going to work."
When Cook fell for the second time after Kielsa's left hook, he appeared to hurt his leg and was attended to by medics for about 10 minutes before he was able to stand.
"He was a good fighter, big fighter with good experience -- he was tough," Kielsa said.
Earlier in the night, former Canadian Olympian Phil Boudreault (5-1, 0 KO) lost his welterweight bout with Justin Fountain of Hamilton (4-1-2, 1 KO) when he was forced to retire because of an ankle injury in the fifth round. Molitor was in Boudeault's corner for the fight.