Put up or shut up time for Sebastian Gauthier
Two-time world super bantamweight champion Steve “The Canadian Kid” Molitor has picked out the perfect Christmas present for provincial rival Sebastian Gauthier, wrapped with a bow on top and even delivered it to Quebec City. Unfortunately, at least for now, the gift remains unopened.
Last month in Gauthier’s backyard, after Molitor (34-2, 12 KOs) won a 10-round split decision on the Lucian Bute-Glenn Johnson card at Pepsi Center in Quebec City, Team Gauthier loudly complained about an unfair outcome and requested an immediate rematch. Team Molitor has officially offered a rematch February 11 to Gauthier (21-3, 13 KOs) at Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, which is where Steve lives and trains.
“It was a fairly easy fight for me,” Molitor said, “other than for the massive cut over my eye that I got from a head-butt in the first round. The cut bled into my eye (left) the whole fight and it was difficult for me to see. I hurt him a few times but couldn’t stick to my plan because of all the blood in my eye. It riled me a little and I lost my train of thought. I’ve been boxing 23 years and knew that a cut above the eye wasn’t dangerous or reason to stop the fight. I was a little worried about that, though, when the doctor checked me right before the 10th round.
“After the decision was announced, they thought he won or that it should have been a draw. But there was no real controversy because I knew that, hands down, I had won. The only judge that didn’t have me winning had the same last name as my opponent. Gauthier said he wanted a rematch and I said, no problem, but we’ll fight this time in Mississauga.”
In recent media reports, however, Gauthier has seemingly taken a side step, claiming that he now wants to fight Molitor sometime down the road. What apparently fueled talk about the decision being controversial may be attributed to French-Canadian television announcer Russ Anber’s posting of round-by-round scoring on in-house screens at the venue, which was viewed by 15,000 emotionally-charged hometown fans supporting Gauthier, who wore merchandise and used equipment by Rival Boxing, a Canadian company co-founded by Anber. All three judges scored the bout, 96-94, but the lone official who ruled in Gauthier’s favor, incidentally, was indeed Jean Gauthier.
“Gauthier talked the talk but he doesn’t walk the walk,” Molitor expressed his thoughts about why Sebastian hasn’t accepted the Feb. 11th fight offer. “That’s what separates him from being a world-class fighter. I don’t need Sebastian Gauthier; he needs me to be considered a world-class fighter. I’m already proven.
“There’s a lot of action in my division with (WBA champion Rico) Ramos fighting (WBA Interim champion Guillermo Rigondeaux) and it looks like (WBC & WBO champion Nonito) Donaire is fighting (Wilfredo) Vasquez in February. My division is congested at the top. I want to stay busy, stay active, so I’m going to squash this guy (Gauthier) February 11th to settle things once and for all. I won’t be satisfied unless I knock him out this fight.
“I hope he (Gauthier) will do what he said (fight a rematch) he would. He needs to strap on shoes and hit the road. I won my first title on the road and defended my belt on the road, too. That’s what it takes to be part of the elite group of boxers, going against a home crowd and hometown judging. I was asked about fighting Sebastian Gauthier in Quebec City and accepted without hesitation.”
Molitor was a five-time Canadian National amateur champion who first captured the International Boxing Federation (“IBF”) Super Bantamweight title in 2006 in his 23rd pro fight at the age of 26. The stylish southpaw traveled to the United Kingdom, where Steve stopped hometown favorite and previously unbeaten Michael Hunter (26-0-1) for the vacant title. Molitor successfully defended his crown five times during the next two years against, respectfully, 27-3 Takalani Ndlovu (TKO9), 56-8-1 Fahsan 3K Battery (DEC12), 34-4 Ricardo Castillo (DEC12), 30-2-1 Fernando Beltran, Jr. (DEC12) and 18-0 Ceferino Dario Labarda (TKO10).
In 2010, Molitor recaptured the IBF title by winning a 12-round decision in a rematch against Ndlovu, followed by a title-defense victory in the United Kingdom versus 35-5 Jason Booth, before losing by decision to Ndlovu last April in South Africa, completing their trilogy.
Now 31 and an 11 ½-year veteran, Molitor is rated No. 12 by the IBF but No. 7 by The Ring magazine, which has ranked Steve in its top 10 for more than six years.
“I’m a lot smarter now,” Molitor commented. “Over the years, I’ve learned a lot through the trials and tribulations of boxing. I train everyday with a 21 year old, Samuel Vargas, and I can keep up with the young cats, no problem. I’m right where I want to be.”
That’s assuming, of course, that Gauthier steps-up and accepts the challenge that he requested to fight Molitor again.