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Mickey Bey and John Molina at the crossroads

(Photo © German Villasenor)
(Photo © German Villasenor)

By Gabriel Montoya

Showtime’s Shobox: The New Generation has always been about professional crossroads matches. But generally, that intersection is in the early stages of the fighters’ careers. At age 30, Mickey Bey and John Molina, Jr, one hoping to finally get his world title shot and the other hoping to return to those proving grounds, this fight is as crossroads as it gets.


“Any way you look at it, this is a great fight for TV, a great fight for the fans, a great fight for everybody and I’m excited to be part of it,” Bey told reporters at a media day this week. “I’m definitely in with a good opponent.  A top, solid fighter who has a lot of good wins.  We know he’s going to bring it, which will only bring out the best in me.”


John Molina, Jr is a pure scrapper. He came late to the sport, having been a talented wrestler in high school. It shows. Molina is a raw boxer whose power, size (5’10 ½” which is huge for a 135 pound fighter) and strength are real problems for anyone challenging the West Covina, CA native.

Of Molina’s three losses, two were of the decision variety. The first, to Martin Honorio in 2009, saw Molina show his toughness by pushing through a horrible flu to come on strong late. While Molina was out-boxed, he showed his “never quit” attitude.


The second loss, this past June to Andrey Klimov, Molina again was out-boxed and again competitive in spots, pressuring and using his advantages to press the action.


A third loss was an odd first round technical knockout at the hands of former lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco in September of 2012. Moments into the fight, Molina wobbled off a long left hand by DeMarco and retreated to the corner. Later, he would admit he should have taken a knee as DeMarco unloaded the kitchen sink on him. Instead, Molina oddly crouched and referee Jack Reiss had no choice but to call a halt to the action.


“I think for [Team Bey] to put in a guy against me who’s had just one fight in a year and a half shows a lot of guts on their part,” Molina told assembled media at a promotional workout  I applaud them for that, but I’m not sure they are getting who they think they’re getting.  They see a guy who’s lost a couple of times, but there is more to me than that.”


On the Mickey Bey side, his crossroads journey is a bit different.


The Cleveland, Ohio native Bey is coming off a controversial win. In February, Bey stopped Robert Rodriguez in three rounds then promptly skyrocketed through Nevada’s 6:1 T/E level threshold in the post-fight drug test.


It was later revealed by Bey that he had been sick all throughout training camp. So much so, that Bey took a friend’s advice and visited a local clinic in Las Vegas called the Las Vegas Health Clinic. They had helped out Bey’s friend with his weight issues and so Bey thought he would give the clinic a try.


It should be noted that Bey is not a doctor person. He doesn’t like to take pharmaceuticals of any kind despite being chronically sick over the years. Not even headache medication such as Aspirin. Bey says that he always been somewhat sickly. He has gotten sick so often during training camps, he says, that he feels it’s a bad omen if he doesn’t get sick in camp.


Upon visiting the Las Vegas Health Clinic, Bey informed the clinic staff, that he could not take anything performance enhancing as he had a fight coming up. The staff at Las Vegas Health Clinic assured him he would not be.


Bey says that he was then given a series injections over a period of a weeks of a concoction not fully explained to him by the staff at the time. Some reports claim it may have contained B-12, vitamin C and synthetic testosterone. Whatever it is, Bey says he felt worse off than he did before visiting the clinic, particularly in the fight despite the knockout performance. After the fight, Bey’s T/E ratio registered at 30:1.


For this infraction, Bey was suspended three months and fined $1,000. The fight was ruled a no-contest. The clinic is now under much scrutiny.


The fallout for Bey was intense. Sadly, boxing fans aren’t concerned with the details of Bey’s story. They are too hardened by scandals in cycling and Major League Baseball to be forgiving. But they should look deeper into the details of the Las Vegas Health Clinic and the growing problem with “anti-aging” or “natural remedy” clinics that are appearing more on the athletics scene. This is the second fighter in two years to test positive for synthetic testosterone or its raised T/E ratio red flag after visiting one of these Las Vegas clinics being told a remedy was not a banned or performance enhancing substance.  This is a problem that should be looked into.


“When things weren’t going great for me, I stayed focused and just kept getting better,” said Bey, who can get his much delayed career back on track Friday night. “It’s been a long time coming and all the hard work is going to pay off, but first I have to win on Friday.”


The match-up is pure opposites attract. Bey is a pure boxer with a record of 18-0-1 (1 No contest due to the failed test) and 8 knockouts. Both are right handed boxers who could not approach the game any differently.


While Molina, 25-3, 20 KOs, has been out-boxed before and was blitzed by DeMarco, in between and around those losses, he has had some unexpected wins. In July 2010, Molina faced faster, more athletic Hank Lundy. For much of the fight, “Hammerin’ Hank” got off quicker, stepped away from Molina’s onslaught and was winning.


Then Molina landed a Hail Mary in the eighth and down to the canvas went Lundy. All his athletic gifts had failed due to the sheer will and aggression of Molina. From there, Molina was emboldened and he eventually stopped Lundy in the eleventh.


Following the defeat to DeMarco, Molina returned vs. Dannie Williams, a boxer with similar attributes to Lundy. Molina stopped him four rounds with one blistering shot. He hadn’t done much to that point but one was all it took.


“I feel great,” said Molina. “I feel confident and I’m probably as excited and calm before a fight as I’ve ever been.  I’m going to go right after Bey on Friday and will pressure him like he’s never been pressured before.”


“I’m totally focused on Friday.  This is a major fight because there are huge plans ahead for me after this,” said Bey. “There is no way I am taking Molina, or anybody, lightly.”


For both men, this is their careers. There is no tomorrow, as they say.


“Perception-wise, this is a very important fight for me and it’s certainly in my best interests to get a victory,” said new father John Molina. “ I know what’s ahead of me with a win.  A win puts me right back in the thick of things.  Mickey Bey is a hell of a fighter and a hell of a boxer.  Our styles will make for an explosive fight.”


“Being with Floyd and Mayweather Promotions has really gotten me back on track,” said Bey of his new promoter, whose stable is showcased on this card. “Knowing you are in good hands with people who care really makes a big difference.  It’s still a lot of hard work, but now my profession is fun for me.”


Here’s hoping the fight is fun for us.


Full Disclosure

This is an article about my involvement in the drug testing protocols for Bute-Pascal:


Gabriel MontoyaWriter:

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