Frampton vs. Molitor: An Intriguing Super Bantamweight Title Bout

By: Jon Campbell

On Saturday, we see one of the UK’s most talented young fighters really get a test of his ability as he ascends to world level prize-fighting. Belfast-based Carl Frampton (14-0) steps up massively in class against former two-time IBF world titleholder and slick southpaw Steve Molitor (34-2).

Molitor, 32, was undefeated for the majority of his career and has never feared defending his title against the very best in the business. Names on his win list include the undefeated Michael Hunter, Fernando Beltran and two wins in a trilogy against Takalani Ndlovu.

This is Molitor’s fifth outing on British shores and he is yet to be beat when he has travelled to our island. His previous wins include successes over both Nicky Booth and more recently Jason Booth.

His two losses have come against the high-flyer Celestino Caballerro and in his most recent fight against Ndlovu.

Frampton, who has been took under the wing of Barry McGuigan, faces his biggest challenge to date as, up to now, he cannot be considered as being a top contender. Of course he was set to face EBU champ Kiko Martinez, who many consider a top ten fighter, but Molitor is seemingly better opposition.

He recently showed his worth in a 12-round unanimous decision against Raul Hirales. This fight really was a demonstration of Frampton’s offensive abilities as Hirales’s chin held up throughout the fight and it became clear that he was not for staying down and giving up. This did not faze Frampton, and, instead of getting frustrated and following a one-punch game plan, he systematically and cleverly applied enough pressure to constantly keep his opponent on the back foot.

Expect Molitor to start slow and want to use his defensive skills to get through the first couple of rounds. After weighing up the attack of Frampton he will try and use his range and his southpaw jab to set up his left hand and his right-hook.

Frampton will want to get inside the longer arms of Molitor and aim for the body possibly to slow him down, this is a possible goal early on for Frampton even though Molitor is not a particularly mobile fighter and will want to plant his back foot and catch him on the inside.

In the backdrop to this fight it is easy to forget that Frampton is actually the title holder defending against the much more experienced and accomplished challenger. It is tremendously difficult to predict as Frampton is certainly above his station in terms of who he has fought previously. If I was forced to predict I would give Molitor the decision but I am looking forward to seeing Frampton against a world class operator.

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