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Esquivias set for main event debut

Interview & photos by Rocco Morales

Fan favorite Efrain Esquivias (12-0, 8 KOs) is set to make his main event debut, as well as fight for the vacant WBA Fedelatin super bantamweight title, when he takes on 46-fight veteran and two time world title challenger John Alberto Molina (28-15-3, 19 KOs) this Friday as Thompson Boxing Promotions returns to the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California with another installment of the popular "Path to Glory" series.

FightNews had a chance to catch up with Esquivias at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood as he wrapped up his preparation for his biggest fight to date.

FightNews: How do you feel going into your first main event and title opportunity?

Esquivias: I am really excited. I trained really hard like I always do and I am ready to go out there and give another great performance for the audience.

FightNews: This will be your seventh consecutive fight at the Ontario Doubletree. You seem to have developed quite a following there. How does it feel to fight in front of all your fans?

Esquivias: It feels really great. Ontario is like my second home now. It looks like I am going to sell 200 tickets to my fans for this fight showing that I have a lot of support there.

FightNews: You were supposed to fight a young, undefeated fighter - like yourself - but that fell through. Now, you are fighting a two-time world title challenger in John Alberto Molina. Although he's lost a few fights lately, is Molina an easier challenge or a bigger challenge?

Esquivias: I think it is a bigger challenge. He's had nearly 50 fights and a tremendous amount of experience against the top guys. I know he's not going to be intimidated by me.

FightNews: Molina has fought very tough competition the last three fights, including Chris Avalos, but he's been knocked out in his last three fights. Is there pressure on you to get him out of there early?

Esquivias: There is a little pressure to get the knockout but I'm going to go in there and do my thing. I'm not going to be pressured to get the knockout earlier than his previous opponents. If I get the knockout early, I get it early but I'm always going to go for the knockout.

FightNews: What kind of amateur experience did you have?

Esquivias: The biggest accomplishment was the Nationals. I had over 100 amateur fights and I was a semi finalist for the Olympics but lost to Raynell Williams, the eventual U.S. representative at 125 pounds.

FightNews: How did you start training with Freddy Roach?

Esquivias: I came to the Wild Card Gym to spar with some of Freddy's top guys and Freddy always saw me working hard. I had some problems with my trainer so I asked Freddy if he would work with me and he told me to keep coming. I showed him I was really serious and dedicated and that's why he started training me.

FightNews: Regarding your training, who have been your sparring partners and how has that helped you develop?

Esquivias: I have sparred with a lot of world class boxers both here at Wild Card Gym and in Maywood. Some of the guys I have sparred with have been Abner Mares, Yonnhy Perez, Jorge Linares, Urbano Antillon and Ponce De Leon and this has really helped my development. After this fight, I may get a chance to work more with Abner Mares as he prepares for Agbeko and it looks like I will be fighting on the undercard for his April 23rd fight.

FightNews: You've been knocking out most of your opponents early but in your last fight your opponent extended you to the longest you've been in your career. What happened in your last fight (with Shawn Nichol)?

Esquivias: Last fight I started out a little slow and Shawn (the opponent) started out really strong but I guess he started dying in the later rounds. In the eighth I went to finish him and I got him with a lead right for the KO. Freddy told me to come out and leave it all in the ring in the last round and I did. After the lead right, he was pretty much out on his feet and the ref stopped it.

FightNews: You have quite a number of tattoos. Is there an tattoo in particular that has special meaning to you?

Esquivias: I have a tattoo of my late father's portrait on my arm and it has his name and a quote I found on his phone after he passed away. It says "Gracias a Dios por cada segundo de mi vida" which translates to "Thank you God for every second of my life." I put my body through so much just thinking of the pain my father went through for the last three years of his life until he passed away and this is what pushes me to fight hard.

FightNews: What would you like to share with FightNews readers about Efrain Esquivias?

Esquivias: Just keep your eye on me because I will keep coming up in 2011 and will be a world champion, hopefully, in 2012.

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Undefeated super bantamweight Efrain Esquivias meets his biggest challenge to date when he meets hardcore veteran John Alberto Molina for the vacant WBA Fedelatin super bantamweight title in the main event of "Path To Glory" this Friday night at the Ontario Doubletree Hotel. Efrain enters this bout fresh off three consecutive knockout victories over opponents with a combined 13-2-0 record, including two previously undefeated fighters.

Promoter for "Path To Glory" is Thompson Boxing Promotions and tickets are $75, $45 or $30 and available online at www.thompsonboxing.com or by calling (714) 395-0900. Doors open at 6:30pm with the first bell scheduled for 7:30pm

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2011 by Fightnews.com.