From fight to the mic

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:59 AM ET

Former world IBF junior featherweight champion Steve Molitor better hope that Dario Azuaga, his opponent tomorrow night at Casino Rama, doesn't punch him in the throat.

That's because, minutes after his bout with the journeyman Azuaga, Molitor is scheduled to provide colour commentary for the main event at Casino Rama, the WBO world junior bantamweight clash between the champion Jose Lopez of Puerto Rico and the young Filipino sensation Marvellous Marvin Sonsona.

The main event will be broadcast on TSN on Saturday night with the voice of the Maple Leafs, the clangorous Joe Bowen, providing the blow-by-blow action along side Molitor.

NEXT FIGHT

Bowen might want to wear nose plugs when Molitor takes the seat beside him.

"I'll probably just have time to put my suit on and that's it," Molitor said yesterday of his broadcasting debut.

The point is, Molitor's plan to sit down in the broadcast booth minutes after his scheduled eight-round bout against the journeyman Azuaga clearly demonstrates that the Sarnia fighter is not taking Azuaga that seriously, though he denied that he is looking past Azuaga, who has fashioned a 75-15-2 record during his 14-year pro career, though the brawler from Paraguay has lost three of his past five. Still, whether they admit it or not, boxers always look past their next bout.

In fact, Molitor's promoter Allan Tremblay admitted as much yesterday. After Molitor lost his IBF junior featherweight title to Celestino Caballero of Panama on Nov.21, the original plan was to get him back to challenge for another world title some time this fall. But because Caballero has yet to move up to the featherweight division (126 pounds) as he had originally planned, Molitor will have to bide his time and fight at least one more setup bout later this fall.

"Caballero was going to move up to featherweight, but none of the featherweights will fight him, so that causes a problem," Tremblay said.

Tremblay said Caballero has a unification bout scheduled against WBO super bantamweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez early next year and, after that, both will move up to featherweight, leaving at least one IBF title open for Molitor, 29-1, to contend for -- if he keeps winning.

"I'm patient," Molitor said. "It's part of boxing. I waited to get the original title and went to South Africa and the guy (Gabula Vabaza) failed his medical, so I had to go to England to get it (defeating Michael Hunter in 2006). But I'll get my world title back, I'll tell you that."

Tremblay said that Molitor could have fought Cristobal Cruz for the Mexican's IBF featherweight title this fall, but the terms and conditions were not to his liking.

"If Molitor won, they wanted three options (on future fights) on him," Tremblay said. "I'm not in the business to give Steve away. I spent seven years getting him to where he is now."

Molitor, meanwhile, expressed contentment to be back with longtime trainer Chris Johnson, who just last year called the Molitor a "puppet" and "yes man" for dumping him as his trainer.

"It's like when you have a fight with your wife. You love her to death and you know you'll be with her forever, but you have a little argument here and there," Molitor said. "That's what it was between me and Chris."

STEVE.BUFFERY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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