“I honestly thought I was [getting Broner] because from my understanding, it was all good on both sides and then all of a sudden, it didn’t happen,” said Molina earlier this week to Maxboxing. “So I said, ‘Eh, I guess they had the wrong Molina at hand.’”
But facing “The Machine,” who, like Broner, is coming off a loss, isn’t a bad replacement.
“When they came back with Matthysse, I said, ‘Hey, this is not what I wanted but Lucas Matthysse, I like the fight better as far as styles go.’ I wouldn’t say it’s a consolation prize because Matthysse...it’s not a bad second; let’s say that.” The bottom line is the 31-year-old from Covina won’t have to go looking around for Matthysse once the bell rings. “I would think so. This is a ‘styles make fights’ kind of fight. He’s a notorious slow starter. He’s not the most technically sound guy. I’m not going to say he’s technically deficient but he’s not the most technically sound guy and he’s a normal guy that’s very heavy-handed.”
But Molina admits, “I’m not a very good technician either. I’m not going to go out there and try to be Floyd Mayweather but I’m very heavy-handed as well. So it’s going to be whose will is going to be stronger that night.”
Yes, Molina is a sizable (to say the least) underdog but he has the proverbial puncher’s chance. Oftentimes, that phrase is a euphemism for “gotta get lucky” but Molina is a legitimate puncher who can turn around a fight in a split second - ask Mickey Bey. His power allows him to beat guys perhaps more talented such as Hank Lundy. And his inexperience and fundamental shortcomings also get him into situations like the one against Antonio DeMarco in which he was halted in less than a minute. It’s a result that left Molina more embarrassed than hurt.
“Oh, of course,” he says of that night in September of 2012. “Throughout the whole thing in my career, yeah, it’s an embarrassment. Like I said, as fighters, we’re not afraid of fighting. Fighting is what we do. I’m more afraid of the embarrassment than going out there and having a man out-bend or beat me. That’s the biggest concern; believe it or not. But the DeMarco fight, again, I’ve often said I’ve learned on the job and it was an experience where I put a notch on the belt.”
That evening in Oakland, in front of an HBO audience, Molina was stunned early by a left hand from DeMarco and then was basically sitting on the bottom rope with his hands up, deflecting a volley of punches from DeMarco - none of which really hurt him - before referee Jack Reiss stopped the fight abruptly.
“I believe that it was me thinking that I knew too much as far as sometimes overthinking,” Molina states in recalling those events. “The California rules state that if your body is being held up by any part of the ropes, it’s considered a knockdown. I thought that was enough to get Jack Reiss to step in and give an eight-count. But as of right now, that’s water under the bridge. It’s a learning experience; it wasn’t a matter of panic because I wasn’t hurt at all. The initial punch, that did wobble my legs. It wasn’t a matter of me getting knocked out or hurt. As you can see, right after they called the bout off, I was there thinking, ‘Why did you guys do that?’
“I thought they were breaking us to give us an eight-count because I got knocked down. But again, it’s a learning experience and I’ve learned on the job. I’m a better fighter for it.”
If there is a fight that holds any real intrigue tonight, it’s probably this one. Matthysse is coming off a fight in which he not only lost (to Danny Garcia) but also suffered a hairline fracture in his cheekbone and had talked of retirement. Who knows where his heart and head are? As for Molina, well, he might be best served by throwing caution to the wind as soon as possible and letting his fists fly.
“I think so,” he agreed, “We’ll let [Matthysse] know that he’s in a fight. The thought process out there is that I’m the smaller guy coming into this fight, which is completely absurd in my opinion. Yes, he’s fought at the higher weight longer than I have but it’s been a miracle that I’ve been able to make 135 as long as I have. Stature-wise, I’m the physically bigger guy. It’ll show at our press conference and our weigh-in.” And for the record, Molina’s claims were substantiated; he did look like the bigger boxer as the two squared off. “Now, I’m not saying stature wins fights but I like my advantages,” he stated with confidence.
Matthysse-Molina figures to be a fun and explosive fight one way or the other.
“I believe this fight is the fight to watch that night with all due respect to the other guys on the card,” says Molina. “But I believe the most intriguing fight of the night is going to be myself and Lucas Matthysse and given the fact I am a heavy underdog in this fight, when have I ever been the favorite? So to me, it’s not unfamiliar; I know where I’m at. I know what I gotta do to become victorious. It’s a given I’m not going to have to go find this guy because he’s going to be right there for me.”
Andre Ward had a message for his fans on his website:
Uh, OK, but isn’t asking your promoter - who you are trying to leave - to set up your next fight like telling your wife with whom you are in divorce proceedings to plan your summer vacation?
Here’s the latest episode of “The Next Round” with Gabe Montoya and Yours Truly:
Antonio Orozco will not fight on this card in Carson as scheduled because Martin Honorio had visa issues. Orozco will now perform on May 15th in Del Mar on Fox Sports 1.....The Showtime Extreme telecast will now feature Terrell Gausha and Jermall Charlo in separate bouts. Per a Showtime release: “JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHTS - 10 ROUNDS, Jermall Charlo, Houston, TX, 17-0 (13 KOs) vs. Hector Muñoz, Albuquerque, NM, 22-12-1 (14 KOs), SUPER WELTERWEIGHTS – 8 ROUNDS
Terrell Gausha, Cleveland, OH,8-0 (5 KOs) vs.Charles Whittaker, Miami, Fla., 40-14-2 (24 KOs).” The fights before the fights will kick off at 7 p.m., ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast)...Episode two of “All Access: Mayweather-Maidana” will premiere tonight at 9 p.m., ET before “Showtime Championship Boxing”...Josesito Lopez looked good in stopping Aaron Martinez...Thomas Williams-Enrique Ornelas was a televised execution...What’s gotten into Shannon Briggs recently?...So even with the 60/40 split in favor of Vasyl Lomachenko, Gary Russell Jr. is still on board; right?...
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