by Dave Spencer, FightNews Canada
While much has been made of friends and former sparring partners Lucian Bute and Glen Johnson facing off in the main event Saturday in Quebec City Saturday night, they are the only pair who have met up with bigger gloves and headgear in preparing for for a championship fight. Former two-time world champion Steve Molitor(33-2 12KO) returns to the ring for the first time since travelling to South Africa in March and losing his losing his IBF super-bantamweight belt to Takalani Ndlovu who he was facing for the third time. Molitor will meet former sparring partner Sebastien Gauthier(21-2 13KO) who moves up in weight in hopes of making a statement against the man he used to help prepare for championship fights.
"Training was amazing," Gauthier told Fightnews shortly before weighing in on Friday. "Everybody tried to help me, I had every southpaw in the Country called to help so I'm really happy with the training camp we had. It was a first for me, it' the first time I do a ten week training camp."
While Molitor admitted to not being able to pull the trigger in only his second career loss against Ndlovu, it's not something that Gauthier is hoping that the former champion duplicates this time around. "I'm going to be in front of him all night, so hopefully he can pull that trigger so that I can counter him and take him out. A guy protecting himself is a hard guy to stop, but I'm willing to pressure him every minute of every round, that's what I'm willing to do."
Like both the main event protagonists, Gauthier is quick to point out, "This isn't sparring any more." Gauthier reflects on the sessions when Stephane Larouche of Interbox had taken the reigns of Team Molitor in 2008. "I had just had an operation and Stephane called and said I needed to get back to the gym, Steve needs some sparring and we need to go there. It was no problem, anything for Steve because Steve was a really nice guy with us and we like him a lot. We went there and I was really impressed, he was in great shape and physically very strong. The first thing I said was that I was impressed with him and his work ethic and the way he was staying there to fight. The thing is though I saw his fight after and I felt he could have and should have done better. So we'll how he does.
"With Steve, what you see is what you get. I don't expect anything different. I don't think switching trainers just before a fight shows that he's going to be better. I think he wants to be comfortable, but he's not going to comfortable.
"We didn't call them out. They called us out. They thought we would be an easy fight and that's there first mistake. After that, we're glad to accept the fight. We were hoping to have fought him when he was world champion, but it still good. I know he with Top Rank and that Top Rank owns most of the fighters in MY division at 115 or 118, we'll see, I won't fight at 124 (contracted weight) anymore, I'll go back to my weight and try to get the big fights there."
If you wish to contact the author of this article, email Dave Spencer at FightNews Canada