Who Is “King” Carlos Molina? Will He Be The Man Who Shoots Down Erislandy Lara’s Rising Star?
By Joseph “The Mad Boxing Genius” Torres (March 22, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
Until November of last year, boxing in 2010 had been pretty forgettable. ESPN’s Friday Night Fights has always been a fan favourite but as the old saying goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,” holds true. The four month hiatus toward the end of 2010 really helped fans of the sweet science appreciate its value.

With no weekly fights on tap, we came to the realization that ESPN doesn’t always get the Jurassic Park type of popular fighters like Manny Pacquiao but they do get hungry, honest and talented fighters who are eager to impress the fans who tune in.

ESPN Friday Night Fights has been back on the air for a few months already and it continues to give us honest bouts that entertain us week after week. This coming Friday is no different as they bring us another solid fight pitting the Cuban sensation Erislandy Lara (15-0) up against “King” Carlos Molina (17-4-1).

Now, to the more casual boxing fan, just by looking at the records you may think that this is a showcase fight for Erislandy Lara. However, to those more indulged in the sport, for those who have their nose to the grindstone, they know that this is a very solid fight.

Yes, Lara is the favourite going in and rightfully so. He’s a quick southpaw with good power and the confidence that an undefeated fighter should have. But those who know just a little bit better, know that “King” Carlos Molina is a live underdog… a very live underdog!

So who is this man they call “King”?

Born in Mexico and moving to Chicago at a very early age, this 27 year old fighter isn’t the flashy, loud-mouth kind of performer that talks their way into a big fight rather than earn it. He’s a respectful kid, somewhat shy but still exudes all the confidence you want to have in a champion.

I wanted to know a little bit about his history and as I do with all fighters, I asked about his experiences in the amateurs. It’s a love it or hate thing with these warriors and when asked about his experiences in the amateurs he stated without hesitation, “Oh, I hated it!”

His style was one a of a volume body puncher that rarely took a backward step. He felt that his more “professional style” held him back in the amateurs (body punches aren’t generally counted a scored point in the amateurs) and didn’t see the point in continuing and working hard if there was a ceiling on how much success he could achieve based on his style alone. He decided to turn pro and continues to use his “amateur style” today as it serves him well and what has experts thinking he could pull off the upset against the talented but somewhat untested Lara this Friday night.

Although he had his disappointments in the amateurs, it is nowhere near the heartbreakers he’s had to encounter as a professional.

No longer ranked in the top ten by any of the recognized sanctioning bodies, Molina was primed and ready to take on I.B.F. Jr. Middleweight titlist Cory Spinks almost two years ago, a man whom many experts felt was ready for the taking. He signed with Don King to do away with the red tape that could have delayed his well deserved title shot and to take advantage of future opportunities. However, due to weight issues by Spinks his title hopes never came to fruition. The fight eventually fell through and Cory Spinks ended up taking on Cornelius Bundrage to whom he ended up dropping the title to. To make matters worse, the move to Don King ended up shelving Molina for almost two years (as he his fight with Lara comes up) which ultimately knocked him out of the top ten rankings due to inactivity.
With no promotional backing, Molina is on his own, looking for another opportunity to win a world title – a title that some will argue should be in his possession already and theoretically would have made this Friday’s showdown a title fight.

Although he’s still very young at 27 years of age, he’s antsy to get back in the ring, determined to not lose anymore time and prove his worth.

“I’m ready to take on and fight the best fighters out there,” said Molina, this coming from a man who is about to come off a 21-month layoff to take on one of the most highly touted prospects in the world. It’s not just words he spewing but he’s backing it up with action.

So who is King Carlos Molina?

Is he the uncrowned champion? Is he a man who had his one shot and lost it forever? Or, is he the rude awakening for Lara and his team who are already in talks to get him his first world title opportunity this year?

Whoever he is, whatever he is, we know he’s a talented, hungry, ready and willing which makes him a perfect candidate to continue the ESPN FNF tradition!

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