August, Carlos Molina was held to a draw by journeyman Juan Montiel over eight
rounds. Montiel came in with a record of 5-4-2 that night at the Hard Rock
Hotel in Las Vegas. As a prospect, you're expected to handle this caliber of
opposition with relative ease before moving on to bigger and better things.
Instead, on this summer night, he looked much more like a suspect than prospect.
Coming in at a pudgy 143 pounds, Molina looked soft and listless.
was a horrible night. There's no other way to put it; he took two giant steps
was probably my lowest point,” said Molina at the Maywood Boxing Club on
Tuesday before one of his final training sessions prior to departing for Pharr,
Texas, where he faces Angino Perez on this week’s edition of “Solo Boxeo” on
Telefutura. “I felt it was a draw but I felt like I let everybody down. I let
myself down. I was just disappointed in myself and after that, I told myself, ‘Never
again.’ So ever since then, we've been in the gym, working hard and getting
ready for every fight.”
fight moved his record at the time to 14-0-1 but it just felt like a loss.
haven't lost before but the feeling I had. It was like I lost,” admitted Molina,
“because I was disappointed with myself because I expect me to perform at a
level every fight and that fight, I was nowhere near where I want to be.” One
of the key issues leading into that bout was that Molina had been hampered by a
hand injury, leading to a protracted layoff. During this nine-month period of
inactivity, he put on weight, which was more difficult to shave off than he
imagined. “It was because the time that I was off, I think I let myself go too
much and to lose that weight, I think I struggled a little more and that
affected me in the fight.”
lesson learned was clear: to become a world-class prizefighter, the commitment
has to be 24/7/365.
definitely. We're athletes just like every other sport. You don't see other athletes
in other sports get fat; they're always working,” said Molina, pointing out one
of the great ironies- boxers are in the most dangerous of professions yet too
often, we hear of them having to round themselves into physical condition.
Nowadays, most professional athletes have off-season regimens they adhere to.
Molina continues by saying, “With us, it's the same thing...actually, it's
worse because we're getting hit in the face. So you gotta be ready all the
manager Frank Espinoza told Maxboxing, “I hope that draw was an eye-opener for
[Molina]. That's not what we expect from any of our fighters. Bottom line is
that we can only provide the opportunities for him but we can't prepare or
fight for them. But honestly, I liked the way he looked against Manuel Leyva. I
think that was a very good bounce-back fight for him.”
Leyva in early December, weighing 137.75 pounds, he looked much sharper and
energetic in winning a 10-round verdict. “I felt a whole lot better,” said
Molina. “I went in with a pretty tough guy in Manuel Leyva; he had a lot of
fights. We went all 10 rounds and I felt good going the 10 rounds. I was in
shape; I felt strong. I was focused; I was ready. I felt really good that
his best, Molina is a quick-handed, busy fighter who makes up for his relative
lack of power with activity. He can be a fun and entertaining T.V. fighter but
at around 5’6”, he's much more effective as a lightweight. That's something everyone
involved agrees with.
he has to be at 135,” said Espinoza, who also handles the likes of Abner Mares,
Daniel Ponce de Leon and Antonio Orozco among others, “He's not really big
enough to deal with junior welterweights right now and it's been proven: the
lighter he is, the better he is. He can make noise at lightweight.” Golden Boy
Promotions matchmaker Eric Gomez agrees, “He's so much better at that weight
and he's proven it and he's looked good at that weight because he's not a tall
fighter and he's handicapped when he goes up in weight because he gives up so
says bluntly, “I have to [be at lightweight] or else I'm going to be fighting
few months ago, during the holiday season before the fight was scheduled, he
was in the gym getting his work done. One day Molina joked to this reporter
that the toughest fight for him during Christmas season was tamales and Bud
Light. So how did that battle go?
had a few, here and there,” said Molina, laughing. “But yeah, after that, we've
been working hard this whole time, so we'll be ready come Saturday.”
some of his other young prospects like Ronny Rios and Luis Ramos (also under
the Golden Boy banner) this is a key year for this Espinoza client. They're at
that juncture where they have to make that leap from young, fledgling prospect
to becoming at least a fringe contender. “This year, we're going to move him up
steadily and by the end of 2012, get him into a significant fight,” said the
respected manager. “We still have very high hopes and expectations of Carlos;
it's up to him, though.”
states, “He's been injured a little bit, so it's going to be very important for
him. He's one of our prospects but he's been hampered by injuries so we got to
get him started off on the right track and get him going because he's
falling behind some of our other prospects who are passing him by. So I think
this year’s going to be a breakout year for him. He should have some sort of
important fight this year, either a regional title or a meaningful fight.”
asked about that draw versus Montiel, Gomez believes the time away from the
ring while not exactly living his life like Bernard Hopkins played a huge role.
just that long layoff, being out. He struggled to make weight, so that was a
little bit of a problem. I think that a lot of that had to do with his
performance but he's better than that. He's a better fighter than that and
we're just going to have to throw him in something meaningful this year. See
where he's at, see what he's capable of doing.”
seems to understand what's at stake now; he's 26 years old and in the prime of
his life. However, youth cannot be wasted on the young- not in boxing.
year, I'm like, ‘Man, I'm already getting older. I'm not that young guy
anymore.’ So I'm ready this year; hopefully, we have a big step up and I want
to be known as a contender and hopefully, this year and the beginning of next
year, we accomplish that.”
many other Golden Boy prospects on the way up, Molina fought on their “Fight
Night Club” series at Club Nokia. So what happened to that series?
are trying to finalize a TV deal,” explained Gomez, who said that it will now
take place at “The Velasco” in downtown L.A. “Soon as we finalize a TV deal,
then we can get going with it.”
April 20th edition of “ShoBox” featuring Jermain Taylor-Caleb Truax
and Erislandy Lara-Ronald Hearns will take place from the Beau Rivage in
Biloxi, MS...There is almost no skill or technique involved but if you want a
fun fight, go with Japanese middleweights. Simple as that…Here's this week’s
edition of “Maxboxing Radio” with Corey Erdman and me: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aleckohut/2012/03/14/maxboxing-radio-with-steve-kim-and-corey-erdman-1...In
something I'm sure will drive some folks into hysteria, the July 28th bout between Selcuk Aydin and Robert Guerrero will be for the WBC “interim”
welterweight title...So how many of you out there had Mizzou in your NCAA
brackets?...The Clippers have fallen but can they get up?...Peyton Manning to
the ‘Niners, maybe? Whoa...