Booth: fought off demons

Jason hoping for “Hollywood” ending

Jason “2 Smooth” Booth goes into Saturday’s IBF Super-Bantamweight Title challenge against Canada’s Steve Molitor with the determination and belief that he can pull off what six years ago would have been the impossible.

Booth 32, has held the British and Commonwealth Flyweight Titles, the Commonwealth Bantamweight Title and is the current holder of the British Super-Bantamweight Title in a remarkable career which at its height in 2003, saw Booth hold the IBO Super-Flyweight Title.

It was losing the IBO Title in 2004 against Damaen Kelly, that would send the then 26 year-old Nottingham fighter into a desperate battle with alcohol and drugs that almost ending his promising career.

After almost two years out of the ring and completely free of dependency, Booth got his career back on track with a couple of six round points wins in late 2006 and early 2007 leading to a British Bantamweight battle with Ian Napa which he narrowly lost in July 2007.

Instead of spiralling out of control again after a disappointing loss, Jason kept his chin up and has since gone on an eight fight unbeaten run, beating the likes of undefeated Lante Addy and Mark Moran as well as an impressive last outing TKO over prospect Matthew Marsh.

That has led Booth to the promised land of the Rainton Meadows Arena where he takes on the seasoned two-time IBF Super-Bantamweight Champion Steve Molitor and the chance to put everything behind him and claim his ultimate glory.
“I’ve been given a second chance and not many people get a second chance in sport,” said Booth
“I never dreamed I’d be fighting for a world title. If I win it it will be like a Hollywood story.”
“This could change my life if I win so I have to give it my best shot.
“Everyone knows I hit rock bottom but what me worse made me better in the end,” he added.

This will be Molitor’s fourth fight in the UK after he successfully travelled over in 2004 and 2006 to beat John Mackay and Michael Hunter respectively with the latter being the Canadian’s maiden world title victory, but it will his 2002 visit that will ring in Booth’s memory.

IBF Champ: Molitor
Molitor was a 12-0 prospect when he travelled the Brentwood Leisure Centre in Essex to take on Jason’s younger brother Nicky to challenge for Booth’s Commonwealth Bantamweight Title, Molitor won a points decision to take Nicky’s title and Jason will be also looking to avenge his brother.

The IBF Champion is not without his troubles too after his brother was jailed for second degree murder, Molitor admits he has had to re-focus on his boxing career after some ups and downs.

It has taken a tremendous toll,” the 30-year-old said.

“But it is just part of the trials and tribulations of my life, And for me to be able to get through that, and be successful, shows what kind of man I am.”

“It was a long time ago and my focus is completely on boxing. The past is the past. I survived, I stayed out of trouble, kept training, kept winning and it made me who I am today.”

Jason Booth v Steve Molitor is live on Sky Sports from 8pm on Saturday 11th September.

By Phil D. Jay editor of World Boxing News

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