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Molitor Decisions Beltran

Steve MolitorBy Scott Gilfoid: Undefeated IBF super bantamweight champion Steve Molitor (27-0, 10 KOs) had an easy time turning back Mexican challenger Fernando Beltran Jr. (30-3-1, 18 KOs), beating him by a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Casino Rama, Rama, in Ontario, Canada. Molitor, 28, was making his 4th title defense of his IBF super bantamweight belt which he won in November 2006 with a 5th round TKO of Michael Hunter. Beltran Jr., 26, did little better than Molitor’s previous three opponents, and found himself hopelessly outclassed early on as he wasn’t able to match the speed, punch variety or the slickness of Molitor.

The final judges’ scores – 120-107, 120-107 and 119-109 – showed how truly one-sided the fight was for Molitor. Unfortunately for Molitor, there are few other big-named fighters in the IBF other than the young Rey Baustista from the Philippines, meaning that if Molitor wants to get a big money fight he may have to fight a unification bout with one of the other super bantamweight champions such as Daniel Ponce De Leon or Israel Vazquez. Celestino Caballero, the WBA champion, wouldn’t be as interesting in that he’s not as well known as De Leon and Vazquez.

In the early going, Beltran was somewhat active in the 1st round, largely throwing jabs but few combinations. Molitor started slowly, studying Beltran cautiously. By the end of the round, however, Molitor was landing sharp combinations and getting the Canadian crowd into the fight with every punch landed.

Beltran continued throwing mostly jabs in the second round as he threw a high number of them in his effort to keep the taller Molitor on the outside. It worked for the most part as Molitor did little until the end of the round when he began opening up with a couple of combinations. Beltran appeared to win the round, however, due to his steady work with his jab.

The third round was very close as Beltran once again out landed Molitor with a ton of jabs, but it was Molitor who landed the harder blows in the round. Molitor finished the round on a strong note landing two double left hooks to the head.
In rounds four and five, Molitor began to pound Beltran with combinations from the outside.

No longer was Beltran outworking him as he found himself on the receiving end of a steady flow of blistering hooks and straight left hands thrown by Molitor. Beltran, for his part, had shut down his offense and had gone down into the defensive mode as he tried to block as much incoming fire as possible. It wasn’t working though because Molitor, even when his shots were blocked, would continue firing more that would find their way through Beltran’s defenses.

In the 6th and 7th rounds, Molitor really began to pound the living daylights out of Beltran. There was nothing close about the fight by this time as it had turned into a full fledge route by Molitor. Beltran was there for the taking but unfortunately Molitor lacked the power to put the finishing touches on what would have been an easy knockout. Beltran futilely stalked Molitor but only got a constant rain of punches for all his efforts. Beltran only rarely would throw a punch and even then, it would hardly be noticed by Molitor who was intent on pounding Beltran.

In rounds 8-10, the fight had become ridicously one-sided and I began to wonder if Beltran’s corner should perhaps consider stopping the fight. He was no longer throwing anything at all, and had been reduced to following Molitor around like a sparring partner, taking severe punishment. Beltran’s face was beginning to swell up badly. Molitor, who has a tendency to cut often in his fights, received a cut on the corner of his left eye in the 9th round. This was an area where Molitor had been previously cut in another fight and it wasn’t a surprise that it opened up, even though he was scarcely being hit by Beltan by this point in the fight.

In rounds 11 & 12, Beltran began to fight back with renewed energy, looking almost the same as he did in the first round. The problem was, however, Molitor was still hitting him constantly with big shots and Beltran’s weaker – and still less frequent – shots were hardly a match for Molitor. It was good though that Beltran at least tried to make a fight of it in the last couple of round because it kept the fight from being a total bore.

As it was, it was only interesting in that it was fun to watch how skilled Molitor is. He does everything well – punch, move, counter and defend. I think he’d be a big problem for Vazquez and De Leon, who both would have problems landing shots against Molitor. Unlike Rafael Marquez, Molitor doesn’t stand directly in front of his opponents. Instead, he uses movement constantly while throwing his jab and making it tough for his opposition. When he does stand in front of his opponent, he tends to keep his weight on his back foot so as to lean away from potential incoming fire. I see him being too elusive for either Vazquez or Ponce De Leon, whom he would likely beat by a lopsided decision like he did with Beltran on Saturday night.

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