Booth Comes Up Short
IBF super bantamweight champion, Steve Molitor (33-1), made it four wins from four in the UK after successfully defending his title with a majority decision over Jason “2 Smooth” Booth (35-6). The three judges scored the fight 116-112, 116-113 and 114-114. I gave it to Moitor by 2 points.
I mean it with all sincerity when I say nobody deserved this shot more than Jason Booth. He’s had a long hard fourteen year pro career riddled with it’s fair share of ups and downs. Most notably, Booth’s career seemed to be over when he spent two years out of the ring between 04-06 battling alcoholism. The fact that he managed to get his sporting life back on track was an achievement in itself, but to be doing his best Boxing at this stage of his career is simply remarkable.
Booth acquitted himself nicely and gave the champion a real run for his money. My concern for him going in was that he would struggle to cope with the size advantage of the Canadian. Having came up through the weights, Jason is undersized for a super bantamweight, and Molitor is both physically strong and rangy. It was the smaller man who got off to the better start though, with Molitor looking lethargic, Booth was able to outhussle him and rack up some early points.
It was competitively fought the whole way through, but the champion really came on between the middle to late rounds, and you just got the sense that the fight was beginning to slip from Booth’s grasp. He was having to work supremely hard to negate the natural advantages of the champion, and as the pace slowed it just got harder and harder for him to find openings.
It was a massive ask of Booth, and he showed tremendous heart and grit to push the champion right to the limit, but ultimately Molitor just ended up being a little bit too much for him.
Molitor now holds wins over both Booth brothers having defeated Nicky over 12 rounds in 2002. It was not a spectacular performance from him by any means. He looked listless early, but he showed a lot of tenacity, and when he needed to dig in and just tough out the rounds, he did it. He’s almost certainly not the same fighter he was three years ago, but he still has enough left to be a problem for most at 122. However, I do think he would have a torrid time with division kingpin Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym.