Last night at Rainton Meadows Arena in Houghton-le-Spring, England, IBF super bantam champ Steve Molitor was pressed hard by British titlist Jason Booth but managed to pull out a difficult majority decision victory.
Booth took the early rounds against slow starter Molitor, jumping in to land impressive combinations that had the visiting Canadian champion guessing at what was coming next.
But the challenger began to slow down by the middle rounds, and Molitor slipped Booth's efforts to land crisp southpaw combinations and launch a spearing body attack.
The assault took a lot of wind from the challenger's sails but the gritty Booth regained control for stretches in the later frames before the combatants went all out in the 12th.
When the scores were read, the judges favored Molitor by marks of 116-113, 116-112 and 114-114.
Molitor improves to 33-1 (12) while Booth goes to 35-6 (15) after dropping his first world title opportunity.