Former IBF junior featherweight world champion, “The Canadian Kid” Steve Molitor (28-1, 11 KOs) and Mexico’s Heriberto Ruiz (41-7-2, 23 KOs) met with the media Wednesday for the final time prior to their IBF eliminator for the number two position on Friday night, in the Main Event of Rumble at Rama VIII, set for Casino Rama, in Rama, Ontario. Molitor, who is looking to put his last fight, a fourth round TKO loss to Panamanian Celestino Caballero, behind him, stated categorically that fans should expect to see the fighter that defended the IBF world title five times, and not the man who lost it to Caballero.
“I’m coming into this fight ready to show the world that I’m back to being one of the best pure boxers in the world,” Molitor said. “I’m slick, fast, pretty, and smart, and I’m going to dominate Ruiz like I dominated everybody before Caballero, and that’s by winning every minute of every round.”
But while Molitor sounds more than confident about his chances Friday night, Ruiz has been put to the test numerous times in his career, and has usually passed with flying colors. The native of Los Mochis, Mexico holds unanimous decision wins over leading junior featherweight contender Rey Bautista, reigning IBF featherweight champion Cristobal Cruz, and this past March secured his stool opposite Molitor with a twelve round unanimous decision over Mauricio Martinez in the main event of Rumble at Rama VII. “I’ve had a great camp preparing for Molitor,” Ruiz told the assembled media at Toronto’s Delta Chelsea Hotel. “Molitor is a great fighter, but I’m much better prepared now than I was for Martinez. On Friday you are going to see a new, better contender then you’ve ever seen from me before.”
Allan Tremblay, President of Orion Sports Management, Molitor’s promoter, thinks that the time his charge has spent away from the ring since losing his belt to Caballero last November has been more than well spent. “We’re delighted to have Steve back, hungrier than ever,” Tremblay said. “He’s got a new son, new wife, new home, and some much needed rest for the first time in years. He’s a fresh, new fighter, with fresh new inspiration to pick up where he left off before the Caballero fight.”