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Eric Molina Discusses The Heavyweight Division On Boxing Insider Radio

Posted on 12/03/2019

By: Hans Themistode

In a career that has spanned over a decade, Heavyweight contender Eric Molina (27-5, 19 KOs) has seen just about everything in the sport of boxing. He has seen his highs, such as going on an 18 fight win streak from 2007-2011. But he has also seen his fair share of lows including knockout losses in multiple bids to win a Heavyweight title.

In an interview with Boxing Insider Radio which airs every Tuesday and is available on iTunes, Spotify and on Boxinginsider.com, Molina broke down many facets of the Heavyweight division including who he believes is the best in the world and how he expects his showdown to go against the undefeated Filip Hrgovic.

To say that the Heavyweight showdown between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr will be the biggest fight of the year would be putting it mildly.

Earlier this year on June 1st, Ruiz shocked the world by scoring a seventh round stoppage win over Joshua and snagged his belts in the process.

With the rematch set to take place in just a few days, it isn’t hyperbole to say that this contest is receiving a ton of buzz. But that’s normal for just about any other contest that features two seemingly larger than life figures. For this bout however, there seems to be more. We could be on the verge of something historical, at least according to Eric Molina.

“When I heard about this event a couple months back I had a feeling that I was going to be apart of it,” said Molina. “This is such an iconic event. This is going to go down like the Thrilla in Manila when Ali fought George Foreman and I feel so blessed to be apart of it.”

Molina will surely be given his chance to soak up this historic event that he is taking part in, but he won’t be allowed to enjoy it too much. His opponent, Filip Hrgovic (9-0, 7 KOs) is looking to claim the biggest scalp of his career when the two face off in the desert this Saturday night.

Forgive Molina if he isn’t able to go into great details about his opponent. He is after all, ten years older and his seen his fair share of big contest in his long career.

“I’ll be honest, I didn’t know who he was,” said Molina in regards to Hrgovic. “But I looked him up a little bit and he’s seasoned and a tough kid, but I didn’t know much about him.”

For the long time contender, this is a stage that he has seen time and time again. He is fresh off a win against Nick Guivas earlier this year, and wants to make it two in a row this coming Saturday night.

With this huge contest just a few days away, many have given their opinions on how they see this contest playing out. Very few however, can give a true judgement on this contest like Molina can. He did after all share the ring with Joshua in 2016 where he was stopped in the third round in his bid to win a world title.

“Man, I gotta go with Andy Ruiz. I think his style is all wrong for Joshua. I do believe that Joshua will make some adjustments but I think Andy Ruiz will adjust to those adjustments and I kind of feel like Andy Ruiz has taken Joshua’s best shot and pushed through it. Joshua hasn’t taken Ruiz best shot and walked through it. That is a big mental thing to have to overcome in this next fight. I think that Ruiz has the beard to take the punishment and keep moving forward.”

The winner of this mega event between Ruiz and Joshua will have a long list of options for their next contest. The Heavyweight division is currently in a golden era with so many amazing fighters that currently reside in the division.

If you ask five people who they believe is the best fighter in the weight class, you are likely to receive five different answers. Molina, like many others, has his own list in which he believes are the best that the division has to offer. Including who he believes is number one.

“Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Andy Ruiz, Anthony Joshua and Luis Ortiz are the top five in the division but as far as who’s the best, I would have to say hands down that Wilder is the best fighter. Wilder brings an impact of one punch that we have never seen in the boxing Heavyweight division. He can lose every second of every round and he can turn your lights off and win the fight and I don’t think we’ve ever seen that with one punch in boxing. It’s been done by other fighters throughout history but it hasn’t been done at the percentage that he has done it. There has been many fighters that have been great at one punch knockouts but Deontay Wilder is on a whole other level. His IQ in the ring and setting up his punches makes him hands down the hardest hitting puncher in the world.”

Few can argue with the list of Molina. However, there was one omission, and that would be Heavyweight newcomer Oleksandr Usyk.

“I’m 6’5, 245 pounds and I’m small. These are big guys. I get that he is crafty and he can move but I don’t believe he has the power to make these guys respect him.”

The criticism levied against Usyk for his lack of power is a proper one. Many have wondered if the former undisputed Cruiserweight champion will be able to truly contend in his new weight division.

In the boxing world, things can become fairly unpredictable. Not many would have thought that Ruiz could in fact pull off the upset of a lifetime against Joshua the first time around. Boxing, is akin to life. You never know what you can expect as constant curveballs will continuously be thrown your way. Molina can relate to this as the Heavyweight contender was suspended from fighting in the United Kingdom for two years due to a failed drug test.

It was a harsh punishment as it was an anti-inflammatory and not an actual performance enhancing drug. The steep penalty was one that Molina believed was unnecessary. However, now that he has served his time, he is convinced that it all worked out in the end.

“I feel like I needed that time off but it was definitely a dark place in my life. It wasn’t even a performance enhancing drug it was an anti-inflammatory. I been in the game for 13 years now and I got punished for something that is much harsher than anyone has ever been punished in the sport. I’m sitting back and watching guys get popped with steroids and fight within months. I don’t want to harp on this too much because I am a positive guy, but there is a fighter that is going to be fighting on December 7th who got caught with several steroids and they still let him fight and nothing has happened to him and now he’ll be fighting on December 7th, on the same card as me. It’s mind boggling to me. But for those two years that I sat out it gave my body a chance to heal because I was taking so many big fights on short notice so I feel like these two years made me stronger and let me heal. I just feel blessed to be here on this card.”

That unnamed fighter in which Molina was referring to was Dillian Whyte who seemingly failed his own drug test but as of now, has gone unpunished. He was recently added to this card as he will be taking on Mariusz Wach.

Casting all of the negative press behind. Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz will certainly garner most of the attention, but Eric Molina vs Filip Hrgovic has all the makings to be a great fight in its on right.

“I’m so confident with this fight. Styles make fights. I feel strong and focused. I’m just excited to be apart of history.”

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PBC on FS1 Results: Vargas and Molina are Victorious

Posted on 12/16/2017

By: Ken Hissner

TGB Promotions over Premier Boxing Champions USA Fox Sports 1 Friday promoted four ten’s that any could be a main event at the Pioneer Event Center in Lancaster, CA.

Photo Credit: Pete Young: Premier Boxing Champions

Returning after 13 months the two-time division world champion Jessie “Ruthless” Vargas, 28-2 (10), of Las Vegas, NV, shut out an unwilling Aaron “La Joya” Herrera, 33-8-1 (22), of Yucatan, MEX, over 10 lopsided rounds.

In the first round both boxers were feeling each other out with Vargas easily outworking Herrera who hardly threw any punches. At the end of the round Vargas landed a right to the head of Herrera. In the second round Vargas opened up with a double left hook to the head of the defense minded Herrera. Herrera spent the first several minutes looking like he was shadow boxing with hardly throwing anything at Vargas.

In the third round it was more of all Vargas. For some reason Herrera is doing more bob and weaving than throwing punches. In the fourth and fifth rounds Vargas continued to box and land left hooks to the head of the defensive minded Herrera. In the sixth round while inside Herrera finally went to the body of Vargas with several body shots. Vargas came right back working the jab and halfway through the round Vargas landed a left and right dropping Herrera. Referee Jack Reiss gave him a good look and allowed Herrera to continue. Vargas didn’t go in for the finish allowing Herrera to get through the round.

In the seventh round Vargas with new trainer the former Hall of Fame boxer Michael McCallum fought very relaxed not rushing himself. His jab continued to set up Herrera. Herrera landed several body punches but was countered by a Vargas left hook to the head. In the eighth round Vargas kept the one sided bout at the end of his jab while Herrera showed a lot of wasted energy with little punching.

In the ninth round Vargas followed his jab with a left hook to the head of Herrera. Herrera had fought the entire fight like a man with his hands tied. Vargas started with a right of a 3-punch combination to the head of Herrera. Herrera landed a rare left hook to the head of Vargas who countered him with a combination to the head. In the tenth and final round Vargas looked to end it opening up on Herrera. A double left hook from Vargas with the second one rocking Herrera moved him back several steps.

The three judges and this writer had it 100-89. “First of All I am happy returning on PBC. I plan to improve with my next fight and was disappointed not stopping Herrera who kept coming forward. I look forward to coming back in March God willing”, said Vargas. Being off for 13 months Vargas went back to college.

In the Co-Main Event Welterweight Diego “La Joya” Garbriel Chaves, 26-3-1 (22), of Bueno Aires, ARG, was stopped by Jamal “Shango” James, 22-1 (10), Minneapolis, MN, at 2:12 of the third round.

In the first round there was no feeling out with both fighters throwing bombs. The taller James used a good jab while backing up. Chaves was coming forward landing with both hands. In the second round Chaves landed a double left hook making James holding on. With a minute left in the round James finally landed a big right to the head of Chaves. Chaves comes back with left hooks to the body of James.

In the third round the shorter Chaves jumped into James landing a left hook to the chin. James was using a good jab backing Chaves up. James landed five rights to the head of Chaves ending it with a vicious left hook to the mid-section dropping Chaves for the count.

John “The Gladiator” Molina, Jr., 30-7-3 (24), of Covina, CA, came back from a knockdown to stop Ukranian southpaw Ivan Redkach, 23-2 (16), of L.A., CA, at 1:27 of the fourth round.

In the first round Molina moved forward but hardly threw a punch with the southpaw Redkach outworking him. It was halfway through the round before Molina threw a right but missed hitting the ropes. Redkach landed a good left to the chin shortly afterwards. At the end of the round Molina hit Redkach on the left shoulder and Redkach went down but referee Eddie Hernandez, Sr. called it a slip. In the second round Molina got more accurate but Redkach got the better of it. In less than a minute left in the round Redkach dropped Molina after a dozen punches with only one coming back from Molina with Redkach landing a left followed by a right to the chin.

In the third round Redkach landed a straight left to the chin of Molina making him hold on. Molina was throwing wide punches hitting air. Suddenly Molina feinted several rights and threw one on the chin of Redkach dropping him knocking his mouthpiece out. Referee Hernandez tried putting the mouthpiece back in but the corner wouldn’t come up so Hernandez put it in. It gave Redkach some time to re-coup. Molina jumped on him landed wild wide punches that Redkach didn’t seem to be able to duck. In the fourth round Molina came out firing hurting Redkach with one right hand after another to the head. Redkach tried fighting back but was overwhelmed by Molina right hands. A left drove Redkach into the referee and down he went. The referee waved it off.

It was a slugfest with Molina showing his age at 35 but Redkach couldn’t match him with his power.

Super welterweight Nigerian Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso, 27-3 (21), of Oxnard, CA, won a hard fought decision over Freddy “The Rail” Hernandez, 34-9 (22), of Mexico City, MEX, over 10 rounds.

In the first round both boxers were using their jabs while Omotoso was missing with right hands. Shortly afterwards he was landing a left hook to the chin of Hernandez. In the second round after several misses with his right Omotoso landed one on the chin of Hernandez. Hernandez was landing with the jab until an Omotoso left hook to the chin of Hernandez. Hernandez landed a solid left hook to the chin of Omotoso. Then Hernandez pinned Omotoso in the corner landing well until Omotoso knocked out Hernandez’s mouthpiece with a left hook to the chin. It was a very close round.

In the third round Hernandez landed a solid straight right to the chin of Omotoso. After a clash of heads referee Jack Reiss checked both boxers. Omotoso went after Hernandez landing several right hands to the head. In the fourth round Omotoso being the smaller of the two had been counter punching which wasn’t his normal aggressive style. When he did come forward he did much better. Hernandez had some swelling near the left eye at the end of the round.

In the fifth round Hernandez was still the aggressor using his jab at all times. Omotoso needed to pick up his offense in the round. With less than a minute to go Hernandez was landing well backing Omotoso into a corner with no return punching. Halfway through the round it was close with Hernandez possibly holding an edge. In the sixth round Omotoso came out firing and backing Hernandez up in the first half of the round. With about a minute left in the round both boxers landed right hands to each others head. Hernandez landed a good right cross to the head of Omotoso who landed the final punch of the round a left hook to the chin.

In the seventh round the action began to pick up with Hernandez landing long rights over a good jab. Omotoso was landing with left hooks and throwing more in the past two rounds. In the eighth round Hernandez was doubling up on his jab and landed a good left uppercut to the chin of Omotoso. A left followed by a right from Omotoso had Hernandez hurt falling back and holding on when Omotoso moved in. It was a big round for Omotoso in the second half. At the end of the round Hernandez seemed confused thinking it was an eight round bout not a ten.

In the ninth round both were mixing it up good with Omotoso having an edge. Near the end of the round Omotoso accidently clashed heads with Hernandez who came out of it with a cut on the outside of his left eye. In the tenth and final round Hernandez may have sensed he was behind throwing long rights to the head of Omotoso. The fight was mostly all head punches from both.

It was a somewhat sloppy fight with neither boxer looking to be a threat to any of the champions in the super welterweight division.

Judges scores were 100-90, 97-93 and 96-94 same as this writers.

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PBC on FS1 Results: Cuban Ugas stopped Lara at Tunica!

Posted on 04/26/2017

Cuban Ugas stopped Lara at Tunica!
By: Ken Hissner

FS-1 Premier Boxing Champions promoted at the Fitz Casino & Hotel in Tunica, MS, Tuesday night.

In the main event Cuban Yordenis Ugas, 19-3 (9), out of Las Vegas, stopped Nicaraguan Nelson Lara, 17-8 (7), out of Costa Rica at 0:29 of the second round on a bad cut..


In the opening round Ugas was landing right hands to the body of the much shorter Lara. Lara answered with wide punches mostly missing. In the second round Ugas landed a right uppercut opening a bad cut over the left eye of Lara followed by a straight right to the head dropping him. Referee Bill Clancy called in the ring physician but made the final decision himself stopping the fight.

In a co-feature welterweight match Mexican 2012 Olympian Oscar Molina, 13-2-1 (10), out of Norwalk, CA, was soundly beaten by Levan “The Wolf” Ghvamichava, of Poti, GA, over 10 rounds.

In the opening round Molina who was moving down from super welterweight to welterweight used an effective jab while moving to his left having Ghvamichava following him and not cutting off the ring. In round two Ghvamichava who was moving up from super lightweight started showing his power going to the body of Molina while having his hands high giving Molina little offense to get through to his chin. In the third round Molina was using his jab but Ghvamichava is still going to the body very well.

In the fourth round Ghvamichava took control while Molina stayed in the middle of the ring instead of moving and he paid the price. With 10 seconds to go in the round Molina landed his best punch up until then an overhand right to the head of Ghvamichava who countered with his own right to the head. In the fifth round Molina was back to using his jab but Ghvamichava was using double jabs to the body followed by rights to the head of Molina.

In the sixth round Ghvamichava dropped Molina with a short right to the head down to a knee. The referee called it a slip. In the seventh round it seemed like the best round of the fight. Molina was landing good left hooks but one at a time.

In the eighth round Ghvamichava was waking right through Molina’s jab landing with both hands to the body and head of Molina.

In the ninth round Molina continued using the one punch left hook instead of using combinations. He landed a lead right to the head of Ghvamichava getting his attention. In the tenth and final round Molina was desperate knowing he was behind throwing wild punches with most only hitting air. Ghvamichava continued what he was doing since the second round coming forward taking it to Molina with double left hooks to the body and rights to the head.

The judges had it 98-92 twice and 97-93 as did this writer have it 97-93.

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Anthony Joshua Takes Out Eric Molina: Fight Breakdown

Posted on 12/20/2016

Anthony Joshua Takes Out Eric Molina: Fight Breakdown
By: Phil Oscarson

Anthony Joshua took care of business against Eric Molina on December 11, 2016 with a third-round knockout win. The win sets him up for a massive showdown against Wladimir Klitschko. How did Joshua take out the hard-hitting veteran Molina? With patience and constant, effective pressure.


How Joshua and Molina Matched Up

While both men are legitimate heavyweights with size and punching power, Joshua is the larger of the two, with a 2-inch height and 3-inch reach advantage. He won an Olympic gold medal and carried a perfect 17-0 record with 17 KO’s into the fight. Molina, in comparison, was 25-3, and he earned the matchup with Joshua based on his KO of Tomasz Adamek in a fight he was losing to that point.

The punch stats were certainly in Joshua’s favor, as they show he throws and lands more punches per round. For this and his superior track record, betting sites had Joshua as a big favorite coming into this match.

The Story of the Fight

Molina said after the fight that his plan was to weather the storm for the first three or four rounds. That was obvious in the first round, as he was content to sit along the ropes and defend against Joshua’s punches. The problem was that he offered little in the way of resistance. He would occasionally throw out a couple jabs, but for the most part, he was a sitting duck. He wasn’t attacking, he wasn’t countering, and all too often he stood directly in front of Joshua.

Joshua fought a smart fight, picking his spots and never getting overly aggressive. He used his jab often, and then feinted a jab to set up the left hook. When Molina covered up, he went downstairs and drilled him with right hands to the body. The few times Molina did attack, Joshua smoothly stepped back out of range, and then threw shots of his own. Towards the end of the first round, Joshua feinted the jab and nailed Molina with a beautiful left hook on the jaw, rocking the challenger.

In the second and third rounds, Molina opened up a bit more with his right hand. However, he never landed anything significant or threatening, and Joshua still controlled the majority of the action. Joshua also started incorporating the left uppercut in the second round, giving Molina something else to worry about, particularly when he ducked to avoid punches.

The Finish

With Joshua’s precision and Molina’s lack of offense, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before the fight ended. Midway through the third round, Joshua tested Molina with a couple feints before opening up with a flurry. Molina got pinned against the ropes, and Joshua unleashed a 2-3-2 (a straight right hand, a left hook, and another straight right hand). The first two punches missed, but the third was right on the money, and in this case Joshua only needed one. The brutal punch put Molina on his back against the ring post.

To his credit, Molina got up to fight on, but he was in survival mode and Joshua knew it. The IBF champion started opening up, and after a few particularly hard left hooks and left uppercuts, the referee mercifully jumped in to stop the fight.

It was a masterful performance for Joshua, who showcased his power, speed, and technical skills. However, he was also facing an opponent who was clearly overmatched from the opening bell. His next match against Wladimir Klitschko is a significant step up in competition, against a fellow Olympic gold medalist with far more experience. Of course, with that experience comes age, and Klitschko is undoubtedly on the downside of his career. He also won’t have his customary size advantage, which could present issues. Their match will determine if Joshua can take the next step on the road to being a superstar.

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Terence Crawford wins by 8th round TKO

Posted on 12/11/2016

Terence Crawford wins by 8th round TKO

By: Matthew N. Becher

Live from the Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska, HBO Sports presented a World Championship Boxing event. With an undercard consisting of major players in the Lightweight division, Mason Menard (32-1) will have to get through gatekeeper and former title contender Ray
Beltran (31-7-1).


The main event involves the Pride of Omaha, former fighter of the year and current pound for pound lister, Terence Crawford(29-0) againstheavy hitting John Molina Jr. (29-6). Molina,unfortunately, did not make the 140lb limit and will no longer be able to win Crawfords WBC/WBO/Ring titles.

Ray Beltran v. Mason Menard (Lightweight):

Both fighters put in a lot of heavy work early in the fight. Beltran fighting for the second time at the Century Link, his first being a decision loss to the champion, Terence Crawford. Neither guy knows how to fight going backwards and are looking to punish their opponent.

Beltran who has been in the ring with the likes of Lundy, Kim, Burns and was the former sparring partner of Manny Pacquiao, was not taking this fight lightly, coming out with a very intense style.

Menard, who is a fighter that is normally able to confuse and counter his opponents well, has been set to follow Beltran and cover up against the veteran Beltrans hard shots. Menard was able to land some tough punches in the early rounds and did earn some respect from Beltrans chin.

The pace of the first three rounds was frenetic to say the least. The fourth round showed both fighters pick and choose when they would start to throw
heavy hands. Beltran may have a slight lead, but Menard is definitely not backing down.

Beltran very much was the aggressor and used certain veteran techniques to make this a very very tough and uncomfortable fight. Midway through the fight Beltran was making it apparent that he was in control and would not leave Omaha as a loser again.

Menard showed heart, taking on a fighter with much more experience and power.

Unfortunatley, Beltran was not only the better fighter, but may have been on
his absolute A game.

In the seventh round a counter left hook was what it took for Ray Beltran to end the fight. Menard was clearly over his head, and Ray Beltran has once again
added his name to the list of top Lightweight Contenders.

Beltran KO7 :51

Terence Crawford v. John Molina Jr. (Jr. Welterweight):

Molina came into the ring not looking very good. He came in overweight and was limited in his rehydration clause…it absolutely showed. Terence Crawford came
to the ring as the Lineal and Unified Jr. Welterweight champion in front of his hometown, he started off quickly, sharp and could see the wounded opponent in front of him immediately.

Crawford landed a few big shots early then made Molina follow him around the ring , letting Molina run into a straight right. Molina’s only chance from the first round would be a lucky punch.

Crawford was just too sharp.

The best quote was by HBO announcers saying “Throw Caution to the Wind”, which is exactly what John Molina had to do. He landed his best shot in the 3rd round,
but also got carved up by the technician that is Bud Crawford.

This fight truly looked like a fighter from the 1950s taking on a top pound for pound fighter of today, which Crawford is. Molina was throwing wild punches and
rarely covered up. Crawford was able to work easy as a southpaw, which he switched to one minute into the first round, and picked Molina apart.

In the fifth round Molina was doing more of the same, following Crawford around the ring, running into punches. Crawford was content with being the untouched

Molina lived up to his name, Warrior, but unfortunatley it was in a non competitive way. Crawford completed his win from pillar to post, never once for a moment
looking in any type of trouble. Crawford will throw his name into the mix for this years fighter of the year and retain his place on the pound for pound list. Is a showdown with the living legend Pacquiao next, we’ll see.

Crawford TKO8 2:32

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Showtime Championship Boxing Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Eric Molina, Cuellar vs. Mares, Charlo vs. Williams

Posted on 12/09/2016

Showtime Championship Boxing Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Eric Molina, Cuellar vs. Mares, Charlo vs. Williams
By: William Holmes

Showtime will be televising three world title fights on Saturday from two separate locations. The first bout they will be showing is an IBF Heavyweight Title Bout between Anthony Joshua and Eric Molina in Manchester, England. Coincidentally, HBO will also be showing a heavyweight title bout around the same time.


The other two bouts they will be showing is a WBA Featherweight Title bout between Jesus Cuellar and Abner Mares, as well as a very intriguing IBF Junior Middleweight Title bout between Jermall Charlo and Julian Williams.

Two of the three bouts should be very competitive and intriguing bouts, with only the heavyweight bout having a clear and hands down favorite.

The following is a preview of all three world title bouts.

Anthony Joshua (17-0) vs. Eric Molina (25-3); IBF Heavyweight Title

Of the three world title fights that Showtime is televising, this is by far, the biggest mismatch.

Eric Molina is thirty four years old and seven years older than his opponent. He will be giving up three inches in reach and two inches in height. He also has three knockout losses and will be facing an opponent that has defeated every single boxer he’s faced as a professional by stoppage.

Molina does have nineteen knockouts, but he was unable to stop nine of his opponents.

Anthony Joshua has been very active in the past two years. He has already fought twice in 2016 and fought five times in 2015. Molina fought once in 2016 and three times in 2015.

Joshua has the edge in amateur experience. He won the gold medal in the Super Heavyweight division in 2012. Joshua will also be fighting in front of a friendly crowd in Manchester, England.

The only reason Molina is fighting Joshua is because he scored a huge upset over the veteran Tomasz Adamek in his last fight in Adamek’s home country of Poland. However, his list of notable victories is short. His biggest wins have come against Adamek, DaVarryl Williamson, and Tony Grano. He has lost, by stoppage, to Deontay Wilder, Chris Arreola, and Ashanti Jordan.

Joshua has defeated the likes of Dominic Breazeale, Charles Martin, Dillian Whyte, Gary Cornish, and Kevin Johnson.

Every single victory that Joshua has earned has come by way of stoppage. Every single loss that Molina has suffered has come by way of stoppage.

The expectations are that those trends will continue.

Jesus Cuellar (28-1) vs. Abner Mares (29-2-1); WBA Featherweight Title

Abner Mares has had recent issues with his eyes and it has been questioned if he should ever fight again.

Mares is a good boxer, but he’s a former bantamweight world champion and is likely fighting in a higher weight class than he should be.

Mares will be giving up an inch and a half in height to Jesus Cuellar and will be giving up two inches in reach. Cuellar also has the edge in power. He has twenty one stoppage victories, all at a higher weight class than what Mares is used to competing in. Mares’ power hasn’t followed him as he’s gone up in weight classes but he still has fifteen stoppage victories.

Mares is two years older than Cuellar, but has been in the ring with some of the best bantamweights the sport of boxing has to offer. His losses were to Leo Santa Cruz and Jhonny Gonzlaez. He has defeated the likes of Daniel Ponce De Leon, Jonathan Oquendo, Anselmo Moreno, Eric Morel, Joseph Agbeko, and Vic Darchinyan.

Cuellar hasn’t fought the same level of competition that Mares has fought as a professional, but he still has an impressive resume. He has defeated Jonathan Oquendo, Vic Darchinyan, Ruben Tamayo, Juan Manuel Lopez, and Rico Ramos. His lone loss was in 2011 to Oscar Escandon.

The biggest question mark about Cuellar on Saturday will be ring rust. He had no fights in 2016 and will be in the ring with an experienced opponent.

Mares does have the edge in amateur experience. Cuellar experienced some success in regional tournaments as an amateur, but Mares represented Mexico in the 2004 Olympics.

Mares career appears to be on the downside of his career. He’s good enough to make the fight competitive and close with Cuellar, but Cuellar is the naturally bigger boxer and should be considered the favorite.

Jermall Charlo (24-0) vs. Julian Williams (22-0-1); IBF Junior Middleweight Title

If you talk to anyone involved in the Philadelphia boxing scene, they will tell you that Julian “J-Rock” Williams is one of Philadelphia’s best boxers and has the potential to be a world champion.

That reputation may have hurt Williams’ chances at securing a title shot as he has been avoided by many the past two years, but he’ll get his first chance at a world title against a very dangerous champion.

Jermall Charlo, one half of the Charlo twins, is the same age as Williams but will have a one inch height and a one inch reach advantage over Williams. He also has more knockout victories. He has stopped eighteen of the boxers he’s faced while Williams has only stopped fourteen.

They both had good amateur careers, but neither can claim any international amateur success.

Charlo has the more impressive professional resume. He has defeated the likes of Austin Trout, Wilky Campfort, Cornelius Bundrage, and Antwone Smith. Two of Charlo’s past four fights were stoppage victories.

Williams has had trouble attracting a top name opponent into the ring with him, but he has beaten fighters such as Marcello Matano, Luciano Leonel Cuello, Joey Hernandez, Freddy Hernandez, and Joachim Alcine. However, William’s power appears to be improving as he has stop four of his past five opponents.

Everything on paper appears to suggest that Charlo should be the favorite on Saturday, but Williams has been avoided for a reason, and this writer believes Williams will win the IBF Junior Middleweight Title on Saturday.

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HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Parker vs. Ruiz, Beltran vs. Menard, Terence Crawford vs. John Molina

Posted on 12/08/2016

HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Parker vs. Ruiz, Beltran vs. Menard, Terence Crawford vs. John Molina
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night HBO and Top Rank Promotions will team up to televise three bouts from two different locations.

Terence Crawford will defend his WBO and WBC Junior Welterweight titles in the main event of the evening against John Molina live from Omaha, Nebraska. Additionally, lightweight contender Raymundo Beltran will compete against rising prospect Mason Menard as the co-main event of the Nebraska card.

It was also recently announced that Top Rank will promote Joseph Parker in the United States; and HBO has decided to show the WBO Heavyweight Title Bout between Parker and Ruiz on a same day tape delay from Auckland, New Zealand.

The following is a preview of all three televised bouts.

Joseph Parker (21-0) vs. Andy Ruiz (29-0); WBO Heavyweight Title

Joseph Parker will be fighting in his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand and will be the favorite coming into this bout.

He has already fought four times in 2016, and four of his past five fights have been by TKO/KO. He is twenty four years old and is three years younger than his opponent. He will also have a two inch height advantage and a two inch reach advantage on Ruiz. Ruiz has also been fairly active and has fought three times in 2016.

Joseph Parker has the heavier hands of the two boxers. He has stopped eighteen of his opponents, and four of his past five fights have ended by TKO/KO. Ruiz has stopped nineteen of his opponents, but only two of his past five opponents failed to go the distance.

They both have had moderate success as an amateur. Ruiz was a Mexican National Amateur Champion and Parker medaled in several international competitions as an amateur.

Parker has a slight edge in quality of opposition. He has defeated the likes of Alexander Dimitrenko, Carlos Takam, and Bowie Tupou. Ruiz has defeated the likes of an aged Ray Austin and Siarhei Liakhovich.

Ruiz is a good enough of a boxer to last all twelve rounds, but it will be extremely difficult for him to pull out a victory in Parker’s home country of New Zealand.

Raymundo Beltran (31-7-1) vs. Mason Menard (32-1); Lightweights

The opening bout of the night in Omaha, Nebraska will be between Ray Beltran and Mason Menard in the lightweight division.

Beltran is a former sparring partner of Manny Pacquiao and is a rugged, tough, durable opponent. He’s much better than his record suggests and is known for having excellent stamina.

However, Beltran is thirty five years old and will be seven years older than his opponent, Mason Menard. Beltran will have about a two inch height advantage and a one inch reach advantage.

Menard does have a slight edge in power. He has twenty four knockouts on his record while Beltran only has nineteen.

Menard became well known with some upset victories on national television, including wins over Bahodir Mamadjonov and Eudy Bernardo. But prior to those wins he faced mainly non-descript opponents and most of his bouts were in his home state of Louisiana.

Beltran has defeated the likes of Ivan Najera, Arash Usmanee, Ji-Hoon Kim, and Henry Lundy. He also has several losses, but most of them have come against good opposition. He has lost to the likes of Terence Crawford, Luis Ramos Jr., and Sharif Bogere.

Neither boxer was very active in the past two years. They both fought twice in 2016 and once in 2015. Neither boxer experienced a great deal of success on the international stage as an amateur.

Menard has surprised many with his two latest victories, but Beltran is a big step up in competition for him and isn’t past his prime yet. This should be a fight that Beltran wins through a hard fought decision.

Terence Crawford (29-0) vs. John Molina (29-6); WBO/WBC Junior Welterweight Titles

Terence Crawford is one of Top Rank Promotions’ biggest stars and has been a rumored opponent for Manny Pacquiao in the future.

Crawford regularly fights in Omaha and will have a nearly sold out venue cheering him on.

He’s twenty nine years old and is in the middle of his athletic prime. He’s four years younger than Molina, but will be giving up about two and a half inches in height as well as an inch in reach.

Crawford has been fairly active for a champion and fought twice in 2016 and twice in 2015. Molina has only fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.

Crawford has twenty stoppage victories and three of his past five fights did not go the distance. Molina has twenty three stoppage wins, but has gone 3-3 in his past six fights.

Molina is always a dangerous fighter, and this was evident in his last upset victory over the hard hitting Provodnikov. He has also defeated the likes of Mickey Bey, Dannie Williams, and Henry Lundy. However, Molina also has an impressive list of opponents that he has lost to. These fighters include Antonio DeMarco, Andrey Klimov, Lucas Matthysse, Humberto Soto, and Adrien Broner.

Crawford has never been defeated and has been slowly increasing the level of competition that he faces in the ring. He has defeated the likes of Viktor Postol, Henry Lundy, Dierry Jean, Thomas Dulorme, Raymondo Beltran, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ricky Burns, and Andre Klimov.

Crawford was also very successful as an amateur on the national level, and has even won a Police Athletic League Boxing Championship.

This is a fight that very few expect Crawford to lose. He’s a more technically skilled boxer than the last man that Molina beat and should be able to stop Molina.

Molina has been known for upsetting the apple cart from time to time, but Saturday is unlikely.

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Unification for the Heavyweight Division within Reach?

Posted on 11/07/2016

​Unification for the Heavyweight Division within Reach?
By: Eric Lunger

​With negotiations with Wladimir Klitschko fizzling out late last month, Eddie Hearn and Matchroom have announced that Anthony Joshua (17-0, 17 KO’s) will defend his IBF Heavyweight title against Eric Molina (25-3, 19 KO’s) of the United States on December 10th in Manchester, England, on Sky Sports PPV. The reaction in the British media was muted, with one prominent observer, John Dennen of Boxing News, characterizing Molina as “not an appealing replacement” for Klitschko.


Molina, 34, most recently traveled to Poland and knocked out Tomasz Adamek (50-5, 30 KO’s) to win the vacant IBF Intercontinental heavyweight title. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the Molina matchup makes sense in two ways. First, Molina has traveled to his opponent’s home ground and boxed very well, making him an attractive candidate to travel to England to face a very popular Anthony Joshua in front of Joshua’s home fans. And second, let’s remember that Joshua is relatively young and inexperienced. With his undefeated record, his IBF title, and his potential earning power, it makes sense to let AJ face another good heavyweight before stepping into the ring with the hugely experienced Wladimir Klitschko.

​For their part, the WBA gave their blessing to the Joshua vs. Molina bout last week by granting “special permission” for Klitschko to fight Joshua, “at a date to be determined, with the WBA Super World heavyweight title at stake.” In short, the WBA is allowing Joshua a tune-up against Molina in order to sanction a future Joshua vs. Klitschko super-fight that would unify the WBA and IBF titles. Also in the wings is Luis Ortiz, (25-0, 22 KO’s), trained in Cuba but now based in Miami. The powerful and slick southpaw recently joined Matchroom, and is finally back in action this weekend against Malik Scott (38-2-1, 13 KO’s) for the WBA Intercontinental title.

That leaves WBC world champion Deontay Wilder (37-0, 36 KO’s) in an interesting and potentially advantageous position. Wilder, 31, won the belt in January of 2015 by defeating Bermane Stiverne in a 12 round unanimous decision. Since then, Deontay has racked up four successful title defenses, including a 9th round KO of Eric Molina in June of 2015. Most recently, Wilder stopped Chris Arreola in eight rounds in July of this year, breaking his right hand in that bout.

Tim Smith (vice president for communications at PBC, Wilder’s promoter) told me on Friday that the hand is healed and that Deontay is in the gym working out with both hands. Deontay is “staying ready and is on track” for whatever bout appears for him on the horizon.

​Right now, Deontay is planning to fight in the first quarter of 2017, according to Smith, and, as the belt holder, he “will abide” by whatever the WBC mandates. Inexplicably, the WBC currently ranks Alexander Povetkin of Russia as the number one contender (despite testing positive for meldonium last summer), and Stiverne as number two, essentially jumping the line ahead of several worthy contenders. Asked whether PBC’s newly announced big slate of fights, combined with Deontay’s popularity with American fans, could work to Deontay’s benefit in accelerating the path to unification, Smith’s optimism was tinged with a bit of skepticism: “This is boxing, if the fans made the fights, we would have a different slate of fights.”

Even so, Smith mused aloud on this scenario: if Joshua (IBF) defeats Molina as expected, and then takes on Klitschko in the first quarter of 2017 for the IBF and WBA Super, then Wilder (WBC) vs. that winner could unify three of the four major belts (IBF, WBC, and WBA). Pretty heady stuff, granted.

​That leaves the vacant WBO title. Joseph Parker (21-0, 18 KO’s) of New Zealand is reportedly set to face American Andy Ruiz, Jr. (29-0, 19KO’s) for the vacant title on December 10th. Parker, a dynamic and exciting fighter, but not especially well-known to US fans, is currently ranked first by the WBO, and Ruiz third.

​Think about it: a plausible path to three champions all with undefeated records. 17-0, 21-0, 37-0. Joshua, Parker, Wilder. England, New Zealand, USA.

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PBC on CBS Results: Thurman Scrapes by with Controversial Decision, Hurd Stops Molina

Posted on 06/25/2016

PBC on CBS Results: Thurman Scrapes by with Controversial Decision, Hurd S
By: William Holmes

Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions series was broadcast on CBS live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Two fights were televised tonight and featured a WBA World Welterweight Championship between Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter as the main event of the night, and featured a co-main event between undefeated prospects Jarrett Hurd and Oscar Molina in the junior middleweight division.

Abner Mares was originally scheduled to fight in the co-main event of the evening, but had to pull out at the last minute due to an injury. The Hurd and Molina fight got bumped up to the co-main event as a result.

Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter

The undercard featured several highly touted prospects. Regis Prograis looked impressive in his fourth round stoppage of Luiz Florez and David Benavidez was dominant over Francy Ntetu, despite the fact fans disapproved of the stoppage.

Heather “The Heat” Hardy continued to grow her fan base with an exciting decision over Kirstie Simmons in the featherweight division.

The attendance for the fight was 12,718 and most of the seats were filled by the start of the first televised fight.

The first televised bout of the night was between Jarrett Hurd (17-0) and Oscar Molina (13-0-1) in the junior middleweight division.

Hurd’s size advantage was evident at the opening bell and he was able to use his size advantage to push Molina back with a steady jab in the opening round. He was able to stun Molina and knock him down with a good counter right uppercut, but Molina was able to beat the count, get back to his feet, and survive the round.

Hurd patiently picked Molina apart in the second and third rounds. Molina was able to land some decent shots on Hurd, but he lacked the power to hurt him.

Hurd picked up his activity in the fourth round and was able to deflect most of Molina’s shots. The fifth round featured some good exchanged and both boxers were able to land their shots, but Hurd was landing the harder shots. The action in a phone booth continued in the sixth round as both fighters seemed content with trading shots.

Both boxers dug in deep with their punches in the seventh round, but it was one of Molina’s best rounds of the night and his double left hook worked well for him, but Hurd was able to have a strong eighth round and re-establish control of the bout and had Molina hurt at the end of the round.

Molina needed a knockout by the final two rounds to win the fight, but Hurd dominated and had badly bruised the face of Molina. Hurd unleashed several combinations in the final round and had Molina hurt before the referee jumped in to save Molina from himself.

Jarrett Hurd impresses on national television and wins by TKO at 2:02 of the tenth round.

Afterward Hurd stated, “Molina is a great fighter. This is definitely a big win for my career. He was taking a lot of shots, but he knew how to survive.”

The main event of the night was for the WBA World Welterweight Championship and was between Keith Thurman (26-0) and Shawn Porter (26-1-1).

The crowd and energy was high for this bout and both boxers appeared to be jumpy in the opening round. Porter was reaching for his shots and at times overly aggressive in the first round, while Thurman was able to land some clean counter right crosses on Porter.

Porter had a strong second round and kept the fight in close and beat up Thurman by the ropes and was very effective with his body work. Both boxers threw bombs in the third round and neither established control in the first two minutes, but Thurman landed a bomb of a right hook near the end of the round that got the crowd on its feet.

Thurman had a very strong fourth round and had Porter on the defensive with his check left hook. They had a vicious exchange in the middle of the ring in the fourth, but Thurman was able to briefly buckle the knees of Porter during the exchange.

The fifth and sixth rounds were close and at times it looked like Porter was a bull and Thurman was the matador, but Porter was the aggressor in these rounds and was able to pound the body of Thurman whenever his back was against the ropes.

Porter had another strong round in the seventh round and was able to land hard right crosses and decent body shots. The eighth round was close and could have been scored either way, but Porter was able to land some thudding body shots while Porter was able to land hard check left hooks.

Porter had a very strong ninth round and was able to open up a cut near Thurman’s left eye and had him on wobbly legs by the ropes by the end of the round. The tenth round was action packed. Thurman was able to momentarily stumble the legs of Porter near the end of the round with a hard left hook, but Porter answered back with hard combinations of his own.

Thurman was able to land a huge left hook in the eleventh round that got the crowd on it’s feet, but he was fighting backwards most of the round and did not want to engage Porter in close range.

By the final round this bout could have been scored in either boxer’s favor, as for many rounds were close, but Porter appeared the land more punches in the last round while Thurman appeared to land the harder shots.

This fight screams for a rematch, but the judges scored it 115-113 on all three scorecards for Keith Thurman.

The crowd thought otherwise and booed, loudly, the judges decision.

Undercard Quick Results:

Heather Hardy (17-0) defeated Kirstie Simmons (8-2) by decision in the featherweight division with scores of 79-73, 78-74, and 78-74.

David Benavidez (15-0) defeated Francy Ntetu (16-1) by TKO in the light heavyweight division at 1:30 of the seventh round.

Jonathan Alonso (10-0) defeated Brian Jones (13-6) by decision in the junior welterweight division with scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards.

Regis Prograis (18-0) defeated Luis Florez (21-4) by TKO at 1:47 of the fourth round for the NABF Junior Welterweight TItle

Josue Vargas (5-0) defeated Ryan Picou (2-10-1) by decision in the junior welterweight division with scores of 40-36 on all three scorecards.

Nicklaus Flaz (3-0) wins by knockout at 1:13 of the first round over Mack Babb (1-7) in the junior middleweight division

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PBC on CBS Preview: Thurman vs. Porter, Hurd vs. Molina

Posted on 06/23/2016

PBC on CBS Preview: Thurman vs. Porter, Hurd vs. Molina
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions will put on one of their best cards on network television of the year as Keith Thurman defends his WBA Welterweight Title against Shawn Porter in the main event of the evening.


Abner Mares was originally scheduled to face Jesus Cuellar in the co-main event of the evening, but an injury to Abner Mares forced him to withdraw. Instead, fight fans will be get to see two prospects battle it out in the junior middleweight division when Jarret Hurd takes on Oscar Molina.

The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York has been a boxing hotspot since the Barclays Center inception and it will be the host site for Saturday’s fight card.

Jarrett Hurd (17-0) vs. Oscar Molina (13-0-1); Junior Middleweights

Jarrett “Swift” Hurd first burst into the national spotlight when he scored an upset stoppage victory over Frank Galarza, and win over Molina could lead to a big fight in the junior middleweight division.

His opponent, Oscar Molina, will be the third straight undefeated opponent he has faced in a row and is also known for his power. Hurd has stopped eleven of his opponents and four of his past five fights failed to go the distance. Molina has ten stoppage wins, and three of his past five fights failed to go the distance.

Hurd is twenty five years old and Molina is twenty six, but Hurd will have a four inch height advantage and a six and a half inch reach advantage. They both have been very active the past two years. Hurd fought three times in 2015 and four times in 2014 while Molina fought twice in 2014 and four times in 2015.

Hurd has the better professional record so far. He has beaten the likes of Jeff Lentz, Frank Galarza, and Eric Mitchell. He’s also never been knocked down during his professional career. Molina has not beaten many names of note, but has defeated the likes of Adrien Torres and drew with Domonique Dolton.

The only noteworthy advantage Molina has over Hurd is that he fought in the 2012 Olympics for Mexico. However, Hurd is in the middle of an impressive winning streak and his height, reach, and power will be too much for Molina to handle over the course of ten rounds.

Keith Thurman (26-0) vs. Shawn Porter (26-1-1); WBA Welterweight Title

The main event of the evening is the best fight the PBC can put on in the welterweight division.

Keith Thurman, the current WBA Welterweight Champion, is considered by many to be the best boxer in the welterweight division now that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have retired. However, Shawn Porter recently beat Adrien Broner, the man many people felt would replace Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Porter is twenty nine years old and two years older than Thurman. Thurman will have a slight half an inch height advantage on Porter and Porter will have a slight half an inch reach advantage on Thurman.
They both fought twice in 2015 and in 2014. Thurman has the heavier hands, as he has stopped twenty two of his opponents while Porter has only stopped sixteen. However, as the level of competition that Thurman faces continues to get better his knockouts seems to be happening less often. Two of the past three opponents that Thurman has faced went the distance.

Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter both experienced success as an amateur. Porter was a US National Golden Gloves Champion and Thurman was an Olympic Trials Runner Up.

They both have an impressive resume as a professional. Thurman has defeated the likes of Luiz Collazo, Robert Guerrero, Leonard Bundu, Jesus Soto Karass, Diego Chavez, and Jan Zaveck. Porter has defeated Adrien Broner, Paul Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Phil Lo Greco, and Alfonso Gomez. Porter’s lone loss was to Kell Brook.

This should be an excellent fight and could go either way. Thurman has to be considered the favorite based on his undefeated record and power. Porter is a physical and in your face type of boxer, but he can get sloppy at times and Thurman is the type of boxer that will eat up your mistakes.

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Showtime Boxing Results: Zlaticanin makes history, Andrade shines in return & Molina upsets Provodnikov

Posted on 06/12/2016

Showtime Boxing Results: Zlaticanin makes history, Andrade shines in return & Molina upsets Provodnikov

By: Matthew N. Becher

Live from Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York, Showtime sports in associating with Banner Promotions, presented a three fight boxing card.

The first fight of the evening was a historical one, which had Dejan Zlaticanin become the first world champion from the small country of Montenegro.

Photo Credit: Emily Harney/Banner Promotions
Photo Credit: Emily Harney/Banner Promotions

In the co-main event, the return of Demetrius Andrade was as good a performance as you can get. Andrade showed no rust in his abilities and put on a brilliant performance. He will look to take this win and attempt a WBC title shot, later this year.

The main event was a fight of the year contender on paper. In the end, it was less brawl and more of a controlled fight, performed by Molina.

Dejan Zlaticanin (21-0 14KO) v. Franklin Mamani (21-2-1 12KO): WBC Lightweight Championship

Both fighters came into the ring looking to make history. Manini attempting to become the first Bolivian to become a world champion, Zlaticanin trying to be the first person from Montenegro to do so.

They both came out throwing punches, trading shot for shot, working the body. Zlaticanin looked to be the heavier hitter and planned to end the fight early if Mamani dared to stay in front of him.

In the third round, Mamani was wobbled with a big shot, going down on a slip. Zlaticanin moved in with a barrage of punches, causing the referee, Charlie Fitch, to step in and put a stop to the fight.

Zlaticanin TKO3 0:54

Demetrius Andrade (22-0 15KO) v. Willie Nelson (25-2-1 15KO): Jr. Middleweight

Andrade has been on a long layoff over the past couple of years, and he proved tonight why he is still a champion level type of fighter. Even though Nelson, who came in at a very tall 6’3”, would be one of Andrade’s toughest opponents, Andrade showed no trouble in landing his punches in bunches. Andrade came out throwing lots of heavy shots and knocking Nelson down at the one minute mark of the first round.

Andrade used great foot work and punches from different angles to keep Nelson covered up and confused. Andrade threw almost double the punches and was extremely sharp in breaking through Nelsons guard.

Nelson really had no answer for the busier Andrade. Andrade again showed why he deserves a shot at the best fighters in the 154lb division, ending the fight with a knock down in the 11th, and two more in the final round, with the referee putting a stop to it before the final bell could ring.

Andrade TKO12 1:38

Ruslan Provodnikov (25-4 18KO) v. John Molina Jr. (28-6 23KO):Jr. Welterweight

Molina Jr. had a 5 inch height advantage and rehydrated from 140 to 160 and both would prove beneficial in tonight’s fight.

In the early rounds, Provodnikov would push the action, trying to get Molina in a corner or against the ropes and go toe to toe. Molina was able to hold his own, but would then use his length to pump out a steady jab, keeping Provodnikov at bay.

The fourth round had an accidental head-butt that opened a cut over Ruslans eye, and provided a target for Molina’s steady one two jab.

When Provodnikov would let his hands go, he could actually stagger Molina, but Provodnikov just never followed up his attack. Molina would end up going back to his jab and resetting the tempo.

In the end, Ruslan wasn’t able to close the distance and stay away from the jab.

Molina used a jab and mixed it up when necessary. It was a one sided fight.

Molina Jr. UD12 116-112, 117-111, 115-113

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Showtime Boxing Preview: Andrade v. Nelson; Provodnikov v. Molina Jr.

Posted on 06/09/2016

Showtime Boxing Preview: Andrade v. Nelson; Provodnikov v. Molina Jr.
By: Matthew N. Becher

This Saturday at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in upstate Verona, New York, Showtime Boxing will present three televised boxing matches. The first will include the return of former Jr. Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade. The second, a title fight, for the vacant WBC Lightweight belt and finally the main event, a possible fight of the year contender, between the always exciting John Molina Jr. and “The Siberian Rocky” Ruslan Provodnikov.


Demetrius Andrade (22-0 15KO) v. Willie Nelson (25-2-1 15KO): Jr. Middleweight

Demetrius Andrade was on the fast track to a great career. The undefeated fighter out of Rhode Island was beating every fighter they put in front of him. By 2013 he became a world champion, defeating a very tough Vanes Martirosyan to become the WBO Jr. Middleweight titlist. Andrade would defend his title one time in 2014, against Brian Rose, and then subsequently be stripped of his title due to inactivity and problems with his promotional team. Andrade is a former amateur standout and 2008 US Olympian. Besides his fight with Martirosyan, this fight with Nelson will be his toughest to date, and an impressive win could fast track him back to the top of the division, and a possible title shot later this year.

Willie Nelson is no slouch of a fighter. Also sporting a great amateur record, Nelson has a solid professional record with only two losses. After a loss to Vanes Martirosyan in 2014, Nelson has been a bit inactive with only 2 fights since. His two fights though came in the way of big knockouts, one against an undefeated Tony Harrison, and the other against a lesser known opponent in Jonathan Batista. This fight against Andrade could launch nelson as a major player in the 154 lb. division, and it will not be an easy task against the undefeated Andrade, but one that Nelson is very much able to do.

Dejan Zlaticanin (21-0 14KO) v. Franklin Mamani (21-2-1 12KO): WBC Lightweight Title

This belt was recently stripped off of Jorge Linares, due to Linares having a hand injury and not being able to face his mandatory opponent, Dejan Zlaticanin. Dejan is a 32 year old southpaw from the country of Montenegro. He packs some serious power and this is his biggest fight to date. This will only be his second fight in the United States, with most of his matches taking place in and around his native country. Dejan has recent victories over Ricky Burns, Alex Bone and Ivan Redkach. With his brawler type style, Zlaticanin will look to be the aggressor of this fight and make his dream come true of becoming the lightweight champion of the world.

Mamani is the 84th ranked lightweight in the world. The biggest win of his career came against an old DeMarcus Corley in 2013. Mamani has not fought outside his native Bolivia in the last 4 years and has never been on a televised card or fought in the United States. He will definitely have his hands full against the undefeated Zlaticanin, but will have the opportunity to sneak out a win and become a World Champion if he can stick to his game plan and keep the Montenegrin off of him.

Ruslan Provodnikov (25-4 18KO) v. John Molina Jr. (28-6 23KO): Welterweight

What can be said about both these fighters that we do not already know? They are both come forward, punch for punch warriors. Both leave everything in the ring and have the ability to stop any opponent with one punch. Every fight they are in, is a Fight of the Year contender. So what happens when you put them up against each other? Only fireworks we imagine.

Ruslan Provodnikov is entering the end of his career. The former Jr. Welterweight world champion has been in some of the most exciting fights of the last 3 years. He has shared the ring with the likes of Timothy Bradley Jr., Mike Alvarado, Chris Algieri, and Lucas Matthysse. Provodnikov is must watch boxing. He is a stalker, who possesses punishing power in both hands and has literally been known to say that he would rather die in a ring then go down. Provodnikov is looking to make a last attempt at a world championship fight, or at least get a chance to fight some of the bigger names in the division, but first he will have to get past John Molina Jr. to make that a reality.

Molina is 33 and has lost 3 of his last 4 fights. He has knocked out Hank Lunch and lost to Antonio DeMarco. He shocked us all with his come from behind final knockout win against Mickey Bey and went shot for shot against Lucas Matthysse in 2014. Molina is a throwback fighter, which is very similar to his opponent Provodnikov. They have been very friendly in the build up to this fight, but on Saturday night, both will enter the ring, looking to hurt the other.

We expect this fight to live up to the hype. Almost every time these guys get into a fight, it turns into an all-out war. Will one of these men be able to break the others will, because that is what it is going to take. Tune in Saturday at 9pm to see.

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