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Molina Moves to San Diego

(Photo © Esther Lin / SHOWTIME)
(Photo © Esther Lin / SHOWTIME)

In preparation for his bout tonight versus Adrien Broner at the MGM Grand, you didn’t see Carlos Molina working at his usual gyms in the Los Angeles area. In years past, he was a fixture at the Maywood Boxing Club or the MMA Elite Academy in Santa Fe Springs. In fact, he wasn’t anywhere near his hometown of Norwalk. For this training camp, he went two hours south to San Diego to work with Carlos Barragan at the House of Boxing.
It’s a new city, new gym and new trainer for Molina, who perhaps needed a change of scenery.
“It’s a big sacrifice for me to leave my family and my kids but I think it’s all for the better,” he said to Maxboxing a couple of weeks ago while getting his hands wrapped by Barragan. “I’m right here; I’m just focused on boxing 24/7 and I’m here with a new trainer in a new place. It’s a great atmosphere here and I’ve got a lot of positive vibes.”

On this day, Molina works alongside heavyweight Chris Arreola and Josesito Lopez, who were brought here from Riverside by trainer Henry Ramirez as they prepared for their upcoming fights. Molina also had his brothers and father with him. Barragan, who trains bright prospect Antonio Orozco, says of his new client’s work ethic, “I’m totally impressed. I think there’s a pep in his step. Right now, we have Lopez, Orozco and there’s a bunch of prospects in this house and iron sharpens, iron and this guy’s just totally motivated. His work ethic, he gets up in the morning; we’ve been doing our running, our strength and conditioning in the gym. He’s been sparring and what’s really impressive is that he already has a great foundation in boxing.
“So we’re just adding, tweaking it for this particular fight. But Carlos has got a smile on his face, even though I’m crushing him in workouts. But he’s still putting that second effort. So it’s a really easy job, here.”
Just looking at Molina’s face, you can see he’s in very good physical condition. Gone are the soft, round edges around his cheeks. He now possesses a sharp and chiseled look to his visage. In the past, Molina had frustrated his handlers with his inability to maintain his weight. It’s very simple; Molina wasn’t exactly Bernard Hopkins when it came to discipline.
“I’m totally impressed by the job Carlos Barragan has done with Molina,” said manager Frank Espinoza, who also handles the career of Orozco. “I knew Carlos was in good hands here in San Diego and I think they have both really lived up to their ends of the bargain. Carlos understood he had to make some sacrifices for this fight.”
Molina has rented a local apartment and when you ask Barragan if he installed a padlock on Molina’s fridge, he says with a laugh, “We have my mother, who’s been cooking for him and we monitor his weight twice a week, midweek and late week and we have weigh-ins. My mom’s been taking care of him with salmon and fish and chicken breasts. So if you go to his refrigerator, it looks like a single man’s refrigerator where there’s only a gallon of almond milk and stuff like that. So he’s on an eat-by-eat basis.”
In the past, Molina has had a certain proclivity for Bud Light and tamales (just ask him) but he understands just how much this fight means to his career - and just how big an underdog he is. Originally, Broner was thought to be fighting another Molina on this card, the hard-hitting John but last week’s war with Lucas Matthysse shows why they ended up passing on him. Instead, they tabbed this Molina for a particular reason - seven stoppages in 19 pro outings. Broner bypassed a sledgehammer for a flyswatter.
Regardless, Molina jumped at this opportunity. He says, “I was excited to be back in that spotlight again, in a major fight. Fighting on the undercard of [Floyd] Mayweather, it doesn’t get any better than that. And fighting someone like Adrien Broner who everyone loves to hate, it’s exciting.”
Similar to Molina’s match-up with Amir Khan in December of 2012, Broner was looking to face someone with a good looking record in which to rebound coming off a loss. Five months ago, Broner was handed his first professional blemish as he was bludgeoned over 12 rounds by Marcos Maidana in San Antonio, Texas. The result of that fight surprised Molina.

“It did,” he admits. “I didn’t expect that type of fight from Maidana to Broner. It was an exciting fight; I didn’t think he was going to be able to basically manhandle him the way he did.” But Maidana is a thudding, heavy puncher, in many ways, the antithesis of Molina. But Molina explains, “We’re looking at different fights. Like everyone said, Paulie [Malignaggi] doesn’t have a lot of power but I think he put up a great fight against Broner and also we also saw some tapes on Gavin Rees; the first few rounds, he was doing pretty good.”
It’s clear that Molina will try and employ a hit-and-run strategy, one he’ll have to employ to perfection. Again, there’s a reason the wise guys in Las Vegas posted the odds they did on this match-up.
“I understood this was the roll of the dice but I realize as a manager, I have a fighter who wanted a big fight and that getting him a tune-up, he wasn’t going to have the type of motivation he’s shown for this camp. Listen, we know why they wanted Carlos but Carlos never hesitated in taking it. All I know is that he’s given himself the best opportunity possible to win this fight,” said Espinoza. “Let’s see what happens on Saturday night.”
To a certain degree, it’s a no-lose situation for Molina. If he fights well and wins a few rounds, like the other Molina last week, he can parlay this into other lucrative assignments.
“It’s not a make-or-break fight but I have something to prove,” said Molina, 17-1-1 (7). “When I fought Amir Khan, I felt I didn’t show any of my skills. In this fight, it’s going to be totally different. We’re getting ready for every possible scenario that Broner can do and we’re going to give him a helluva fight.”


Mayweather-Maidana tickets continue to fall on the secondary market (and again, many times when quick sell-outs are announced, that really means brokers have gotten them on consignment before the general public ever gets a shot at them), which brought about this email from B. Swider:

Some of this is the mis-matchup. Some of this is pricing ($1500 for corners is a joke).
But make no mistake, this will be announced as a sellout. This type of racket is present in most places, albeit at a much lower level. Venues in real cities try to avoid doing too much of the immediate secondary market stuff because they are reliant on locals being repeat customers. Could you imagine what would happen if NFL teams did this?
Also, it underscores why we need to get back to having big fights away from Vegas. When your sport’s two biggest stars leave thousands of tickets open on primary/secondary market, it hints at a very large issue.
Here’s my latest contribution to on Jose Luis Castillo and the night he came oh-so-close to defeating Mayweather in 2002:
Here’s the latest episode of “The Next Round” with Gabriel Montoya and Yours Truly:
According to Espinoza, Broner must shave his beard before the fight...Everyone made weight for this pay-per-view undercard...Oscar De la Hoya will meet the press before this card and I have a feeling it’s not to give his prediction on Clippers-Warriors: Game Seven...Actually watching “The Moment” at a movie theater. I’ve always wanted to do this at least once...Do my fellow Lakers fans and Magic Johnson really think the biggest problem they had was the coaching and not the actual roster?...So is the BWAA dinner the only time Top Rank and Golden Boy boxers are in the same building together?...Ican be reached at and I tweet at We also have a Facebook fan page at, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.

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