John Molina to let the leather fly on April 26
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John Molina to let the leather fly on April 26
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (April 23, 2014)

John Molina
Photo © German Villasenor, Doghouse Boxing Inc
It’s going to be a battle of wills that night” - John Molina

John Molina can punch.

His go-for-broke style has produced 22 knockouts in 27 fights. In the last few years, Molina delighted boxing fans with his come-from-behind knock out victories over highly ranked Hank Lundy, and Floyd Mayweather protégé, Mickey Bey. Molina has also captured two linear titles during his seven-year professional career.

Molina came up the hard way. His first two fights were held at a small park called the Activities Center in Maywood, CA., population 27,000.

“I had to take the scenic route in my career," Molina told during a telephone interview a few weeks ago. "Nothing was handed to me. I had to learn on the job. I had to experience the peaks and the valleys of this sport. I guess it was for a reason. I’m very happy at where I’m at today – and what the future holds. “

The future Molina speaks of is a make-or-break fight April 26 with number-one-ranked junior welterweight contender Lucas Matthysse at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, CA. Molina, who has fought in the lightweight division most of his career, will be moving up in weight to challenge the heavy-handed Matthysse.

Has this move changed anything about his training camp?

“Each camp is different,” Molina said. “Everything is a learning experience. The things that are different and need to be implemented for this fight, strategically, all relate to Matthysse. There are certain things that we feel we can capitalize on.”

Floyd Mayweather, arguably the best fighter on the planet, scoffs at watching video of an upcoming opponent.

What about Molina?

“Of course I do, and I believe every guy watches tapes,” said Molina. “You want to see what you’re facing. You know what to expect per se. But if you go off of a legend, William Wallace of Braveheart should have been seven feet tall with eyes of fire.

"There will be nothing more up close and personal then face to face in the ring.”

Molina feels that he’ll have one major advantage against Matthysse that’s not based on lore.

“For people to say that I’m the smaller guy coming in, given the fact that I’ve fought in the lightweight division during the majority of my career, I beg to differ,” said Molina. “Stature wise, he’s five feet six and a half with a sixty-nine inch reach. I’m five ten and a half with a seventy three inch reach.

“I feel like I’ll be the bigger guy. He’s fought in the division longer than I have. But facts are facts and I will be the bigger man that night,” Molina said.

Having a pretty good idea of what to expect from your opponent should breed confidence. The fear of the unknown has been eliminated, but as Molina explains, knowledge and information are two different things.

“Well, there’s only so much you can know about somebody until you taste it yourself," Molina said.

“Someone can tell me things about him until they’re blue in the face, but until I experience it for myself, then I’ll know. When that first bell rings and the leather is flying, I’ll know what to expect.

“It’s going to be a very entertaining fight. Neither of us takes a backwards step. It’s going to be a battle of wills that night,” he added.

Matthysse lost his last fight to champion Danny Garcia. Most predicted he would defeat Garcia.

“That was a good fight,” said Molina. “Matthysse is a notorious slow starter. But if you say the way to beat Matthysse is to fight like Danny Garcia, well, that’s not what I’m looking for. Me and Danny Garcia couldn’t be more different as far as styles. It’s like night and day.

“There are some things that Danny did during that fight that I believe I can implement,” said Molina.

A win by Mattyesse will put him in line for another shot at a world title. He can’t afford another loss, but neither can Molina.

“I think he has some things to prove,” Molina said. “Nobody goes into that squared circle to lose. I’m sure he’ll be looking to make a statement. It’s just not going to be against me that night.

“No disrespect against Matthyssee,"he said. "I’m a fan of his style. He’s a devastating puncher. He’s one of the best one-hundred and forty-pound fighters. We’re proceeding with caution,” said Molina.

Molina often thinks back to the nights when he fought in front of minute crowds. The prize money he earned barely paid his expenses. So, if Matthyssee is hungry for victory, Molina is starving.

“I had to go the long way to get to where I’m at,” Molina said. “That’s not saying that Lucas Matthysee didn’t have to, but I think he had his breaks a lot quicker than I did. I had to scratch and crawl to get to where I’m at in my career."

So, the game plan is to go for it?

“Oh yeah, we’re going to let the leather fly on April twenty-sixth,” said Molina. “We want to make it a fight. Two guys who can punch. We’re coming forward to be victorious in any fashion. It’s going to be a brawl.”

John J. Raspanti responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to John at:

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