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Carlos Molina: “I’m going to have the best fight of the night”


By Matthew Paras

Even to the sport’s hardest of hardcore fan, tomorrow night’s match-up between Carlos Molina, 21-5-2 (6), and IBF junior middleweight champion Ishe Smith, 25-5 (11), doesn’t necessarily generate excitement.
The fight, scheduled for 12 rounds, in support of the biggest event of the year, features two fighters known for fighting conservatively and having their fair share of duds in the ring. Both fighters benefit from taking away the strengths of their opponents while offering not a whole lot of offense of their own.
Yet despite each fighter’s approach, millions of fans will still tune in and watch patiently as they wait for Floyd Mayweather and Saul Alvarez (or even Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse) to take the main stage.

Knowing that sort of audience will be watching him, Molina told Maxboxing there’s pressure on him to be entertaining.
“I like that pressure. Pressure makes you perform better,” Molina said. “I’ve got a surprise for everybody else - I’m going to have the best fight of the night. That’s my goal.”
Wait…what? Is Molina really saying his fight will be better than Alvarez-Mayweather and Garcia-Matthysse? How does he figure that?
“I know that I’ve been getting better every fight,” he said. “I still haven’t had that performance yet where [fans say], ‘Damn. Look at this; he’s a machine and in his prime. This is his best fight. He’s ready.’ I haven’t had that yet.
“This is the one where I just shine and fight like I know I can fight,” he added.
Molina’s confidence comes from having essentially two training camps for this fight, resulting in what he insists is perfect condition. Originally scheduled for July 19 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Smith suffered a cut over his right eye that forced the fight to be postponed. The postponement led to a spot on “The One” in large part because of Smith being promoted by Mayweather Promotions.
The buzz for this type of event is something new to Molina.
“I walked into a hotel and there were some people there who actually blew up posters of my past fights,” Molina said. “They wanted me to sign them. I thought that was cool. They never have done that with me before.”
For boxing fans to continue to notice him, Molina has to get by Smith. That task, according to experts, is no guarantee. In a recent article posted on, Smith edged a poll where experts predicted the winner of Molina-Smith, 12-11-1.
Molina, who read the article, said it will be up to him to silence any doubters. “We can’t let it be a close fight,” he said. “We need to go out there and win; no doubt.”
For Molina, there’s also the prospect of falling victim to a bad decision. Ending up on the short end of the stick wouldn’t be a new experience for the Chicago resident. Throughout his career, Molina has seen everything from close fights not go his way (a draw against Erislandy Lara) to home cooking (a draw against and subsequent majority decision loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.) to a horrendous “disqualification” loss ( to James Kirkland).
To many, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Smith were to get a controversial decision. After all, he is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, who pushed for this fight to be on the card.
There is also the precedent in one of Mayweather’s fighters benefitting from a controversial draw on one of his undercards. In May, Gabriel Rosado received a split decision loss when most viewers saw him beating Mayweather Promotions prospect J’Leon Love. That fight was eventually changed to a no-contest because of a failed drug test by Love but that didn’t stop fans from witnessing a bad decision.
“I’m not worried about that,” Molina said. “It can’t be close. I just have to go in there and take that belt.”
Questions and comments can be sent to Matt at You can follow him at @Matthew_Paras.
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