By Chris Cella
Amir “King” Kahn and Carlos Molina are at different parts of their career, but when they step between the ropes on December 15, they will be fighting for a common goa: to inch their way closer to a world title bout.
Kahn (26-3, 18 KO) is a former two-time world champion and former unified WBA super and IBF light welterweight champion, while Molina (17-0-1, 7 KO) is an up-and-coming super lightweight contender who has consistently defeated each opponent put before him, which has led him the opportunity to bang with the high profile Brit.
As part of Showtime Championship Boxing, the two light welterweights will meet in a 12-round battle in Molina’s backyard of Southern California. For Khan, it will be about rediscovering his winning ways and getting his name back into the mix of top junior welterweights; for Molina, it will be about showing the boxing world and media that he should be considered a serious contender.
It wasn’t long ago when Khan was on top of the world, winning the WBA world light welterweight title and successfully defending it five times before he was derailed by Lamont Peterson, when he suffered a split decision loss last November. In his only fight since the loss to Peterson, Khan was upset by now WBC light welterweight champion Danny Garcia via fourth round TKO, leading the Brit to dump trainer high profile trainer Freddie Roach.
“I’d like to thank the promoters for putting this fight together and Team Molina for taking the fight,” said Khan.
“I’m looking forward to fighting on Showtime in the United States. I made some mistakes in my last fight (against Garcia), so I changed trainers and training camps. I am now in the Bay Area and I love it. There are no distractions. Sparring has been brilliant.”
Four weeks ago Khan began working with Virgil Hunter to get ready for Molina and work his way back to world championship contention. Coming into this fight, he knows Molina has an upset in mind, and a loss at this point will surely derail the former unified champion’s title expectations.
“I came to the States early so I could work on my technique,” said Kahn. “Virgin’s got me thinking more, but in a way that won’t get in the way when I fight. I know I have to keep thinking once the fight starts.”
Through the first 18 fights of his career, Molina has been steady with his technical boxing, utilizing his speed and footwork to win rounds and win four of his last fights by way of unanimous decision.
Khan will undoubtedly be looking to send a message to Molina early, and try to draw him into a war in the center of the ring. With both men being pressure fighters, it should be interesting to see if the less powerful Molina tries to stand and bang with the former champion.
“I’m prepared for an all-out war,” said Molina.
“I want to thank Amir Khan for this great opportunity, but I have to say I think he’s made a big mistake. I’ve got a great team behind me including my trainer Clemente Medina and I’m fighting in my hometown. I can’t ask for anything more than that. Khan’s a good fighter, a fast fighter. He’s got a great jab and good footwork, but on fight night I’m going to be the dictator and he’s going to fight the way I want to fight. We’re going to shine.”
Whichever fighter is able to come out of the gate on December 15 and establish his ring presence will be able to dictate the pace of the fight. With serious implications for both of the boxer’s careers in place depending on the result of this fight, each round will likely be fought like a championship round.
The Showtime Championship Boxing telecast begins live at 10:30 p.m. Eastern from the Los Angeles Sports Arena.