Molina adds dimension to his power
Story by Francisco Salazar
Photos by Big Joe Miranda
Although knockouts are great and spectacular, John Molina knows it
will take more than that to win world titles.
The young 26-year-old fighter may be gifted with the strength that
few young super featherweights in the world could match. However,
Molina understands that a fighter who is one-dimensional cannot
survive in this sport.
Almost three years after making his professional debut, Molina has
improved steadily and will look to showcase why he is one of the top
young fighters in his weight class today.
He will take on veteran Carlos Vinan in an eight round Friday night
at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles. The bout will
precede the Eddie Chambers-Samuel Peter main event bout.
Molina (15-0, 11 KOs) burst onto the Southern California scene in
March of 2006, scoring highlight-reel knockout victories over his
However, Molina suffered a few setbacks throughout his unbeaten run
as a professional. Against crafty southpaw Ron Boyd, Molina suffered
the first knockdown of his career. However, he would eventually stop
Boyd in that same round of the fight.
Next, Molina squared off against tough Carlos Madrid almost a year
ago on nationally-televised fight Telefutura. Fighting in a swing
bout, Molina fought for the first time on national television.
Fighting near his hometown of Covina, Molina looked sluggish and
cautious at times against the rugged Madrid, who did catch Molina a
few times on the chin. However, he did enough to win a six-round
“I was not happy with my performance,” said Molina, after the fight.“I was just jabbing and I did not let my hands go.”
So, it was back to the drawing board, as so many athletes say when
they do not perform to the high levels that they expect to be at.
Working with longtime Southern California trainer Ben Lira, Molina
has looked not looked not only stronger, but a lot more confident and
more as a complete fighter.
He impressively stopped tough Jose Alfredo Lugo in the fourth round
of a scheduled six round bout last May. Molina set up his punches
well behind a jab and was aggressive when he had Lugo against the
ropes, eventually dropping his brave opponent.
“He was tough, but I knew that I was able to eventually break him
down as the fight wore on,” said Molina, who has won notable amateur
titles before turning pro.
After two more impressive victories, promoter Dan Goossen was quick
to sign Molina to a promotional contract. Now fighting under the
Goossen Tutor Promotions banner, Molina will see more competitive and
lucrative bouts down the road.
Promoter Dan Goossen likes what he sees in the young pugilist and
sees a bright future for Molina.
“Fans are all about excitement in the ring. With John, he is strong
for his weight class. Almost Tyson-esque. My brother Joe (Goossen)
worked the mitts with him and said that he was one of the
hardest-hitting fighters he has worked with.”
Molina got a taste of what could be bigger fights down the road.
Molina knocked out Kpakpo Allotey in the third round of a scheduled
eight round bout in Lemoore, CA. The bout preceded the Andre
Ward-Henry Buchanan bout that was shown on SHOWTIME.
Now Molina will take on Vinan, who may not have the most stellar
record at 8-6-3, with one knockout. However, he holds two victories
over previously-unbeaten fighters Andrew Cancio and Eric Hunter. The
Ecuadorian-born fighter who now resides in New Jersey also has an
eight round split-decision draw against Eloy Perez.
A victory over Molina would sure give Vinan new life to is career
and he could be the first to put the blemish on Molina’s record.
However, Molina is on the right track and has a mature state of mind
with regards to his career. He is a quick study and is a fighter who
enjoys learning about champions, past and present.
At almost five foot eleven inches tall, Molina will no doubt be a
force to be reckoned with now as a super featherweight and later on
down the road as a lightweight.
Molina knows that the skills that he has acquired in the gym will
make a more complete fighter.
“As far as I’m concerned, the knockouts will come,” acknowledged
Molina in a previous interview. “It’s more about taking my time and
setting up everything. I have worked hard in the gym to improve my
skills. Ben has taught me a lot and it’s all about executing.”
It sure will be. So far, he is on the right track towards becoming a
world champion. Friday night may be another step in that direction.