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Ex-champ Molitor takes time off after defeat, Diaconu ready to return

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Steve Molitor is taking a break from boxing.

The Sarnia, Ont., native's two-year reign as IBF super-bantamweight champion ended with a lopsided loss to Celestino Caballero last weekend at Casino Rama in Rama, Ont. Now he needs time off to regroup. Promoter Allan Tremblay said Thursday that Molitor will fight again, but not until next summer.

"He's fine physically," said Tremblay. "He didn't get hit as much as people perceived.

"It's the psychological side. You're shocked, surprised, devastated."

Molitor (28-1) won the title from Michael Hunter in England on Nov. 10, 2006. He defended it five times before trying to add Caballero's WBA belt to his collection. The lanky Panamanian dominated the bout, stopping the southpaw Molitor with an uppercut 52 seconds into the fourth.

The Mississauga, Ont., resident was the attraction in six cards held over the past two years at Casino Rama in a bid to revive pro boxing in Ontario.

Tremblay said boxing shows will continue, with a chance that fighters may be brought in from outside Canada for feature fights while prospects like welterweight Phil Boudreault (5-0) of Sudbury, Ont., and Polish heavyweight Grzegorz (Greg) Kielsa (8-0) are nursed along.

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Diaconu date - Adrian Diaconu's first defence of his WBC light-heavyweight title against Italian veteran Silvio Branco was all set for Nov. 15 in Bucharest until the Montreal-based Romanian broke his right hand during training last month.

Now the process of setting a date, place and prize money for the bout starts all over again with a new purse bid on Dec. 15, unless the two camps can come to an agreement on their own.

Promoter Chris Ganescu says the Branco camp wants a new deal from the one it had before their bout was cancelled. When it's settled, Diaconu hopes to fight in late February, either in Bucharest or Cluj, Romania's second-largest city.

Ganescu said Diaconu, who has now broken the same hand twice, is training but won't resume hitting the heavy bag until early December.

"It's much better," he said.

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Pascal/Froch live - Montreal super-middleweight Jean Pascal's bid for the vacant WBC title against Carl Froch on Dec. 6 in Nottingham, England will be shown live on TV. The show begins at 4 p.m. ET.

The fight is also available live on the Web in French, starting at about 6 p.m. ET on Dec. 6, and will he aired later on the radio at 10:30 p.m.

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We ain't heavy - The sorry Canadian heavyweight scene has actually heated up since Kielsa won the Canadian title from the hulking Raymond Oluwabe (7-3-1) of Toronto on the Molitor/Caballero undercard last week.

Now Kielsa (8-0) is being called out by Neven Pajkic (8-0) of Toronto and Sheldon Hinton (9-6-1) of Edmonton.

James Jardine, who manages Kielsa and Molitor, would be happy to accommodate Hinton.

"Hinton, if you want the fight, it's yours," Jardine said in a statement Thursday. "We'll even give Edmonton fight fans a treat and take you on in your backyard. Just make us a reasonable offer and you'll have your title shot."

Kielsa, known as the Steel Pole, is tentatively scheduled to fight in the United States on Jan. 23 against an opponent yet to be determined.

Pajkic expressed outrage on fightnews.ca this week that Kielsa was looking at a bout with Shane Andreesen (10-2) of Qualicum, B.C., arguing that he should be next up for the title shot.

Pajkic beat Andreesen in an eight-round unanimous decision on Sept. 27 in Brampton, Ont. He also beat Hinton by third-round knockout in the pro debut of both fighters in 2005 in Edmonton.

It's healthy competition, but so far, none looks like the next Lennox Lewis.

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Demers fights back - Sebastien Demers was coming back nicely from the thrashing he took from IBF middleweight champ Arthur Abraham last year in Germany, with five straight wins until the St-Hyacinthe, Que. fighter's career stalled again with a split decision loss in Montreal on Aug. 1 to Dionisio Miranda.

The 28-year-old Demers (25-2) returns to the ring on Saturday at the Montreal Casino against American Donny McCrary (24-8-2).

McCrary, 26, who is coming off a second-round loss to super-middleweight Peter Manfredo Jr. in August, has lost to some quality opponents, including Kofi Jantuah, Allan Green, Yuri Foreman and Sakio Bika.

He also fought to an eight-round draw in 2006 in Montreal with Walid (Sandstrom) Smichet, who is in the co-feature against American Don Mouton (7-3-1).

The Tunisian-born Smichet (19-4-3) gets by more on grit and perseverance than speed and skill, but the Montreal middleweight had the New York crowd on his side as he fought to a majority decision loss to highly touted Irishman John Duddy in February.

Smichet also took Demers the 12-round distance in a 2007 Canadian title bout.

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