The power-punching John Molina Jr. generates such fireworks in the ring, the guy is like a human Roman candle. Prior to his March 7 clash with Adrien Broner on the debut Premier Boxing Champions card on NBC, Molina reflects on what he considers to be his three biggest fights:
3 Hank Lundy
The trash-talking Lundy got under Molina’s skin prior to their July 2010 clash at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
“He was talking so much crap, like, ‘Man, Molina, when I see you, I’m gonna end you. I’m gonna end your life.’”
Instead, Molina knocked Lundy out in the 11th round, handing him his first loss.
Not long afterwards, Molina encountered Lundy in the lobby of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas the night of a Floyd Mayweather fight and had a few choice words of his own for Lundy.
“I walked right up to him, I said, ‘Come here, little man, take a picture with me.’ I grabbed his hand and he was like, ‘Man I didn’t realize you were this big.’ I said, ‘That’s because I knocked you out our last fight. You probably don’t remember.’”
2 Mickey Bey
Molina was trailing widely on all three judges’ scorecards heading into the 10th and final round in his battle with an unbeaten Bey in July 2013 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.
“I was losing the fight on points, but little by little, I knew I was getting to him,” Molina says.
With less than a minute left to go in the fight, Molina scored a dramatic come-from-behind victory after nailing Bey with a savage left hook to the jaw, which led to an onslaught of punches.
“I remember just hitting this guy, hitting this guy, looking at (the referee) like, ‘I’m going to kill this kid if you don’t stop it, I’m going to keep going.’ And he stopped it. The opportunity to knock out Mickey Bey with 58 seconds is what catapulted me to the next level.”
1 Lucas Matthysse
Matthysse may have knocked Molina out in the 11th round of their April 2014 brawl at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, but the all-action fight was one of the year’s best—and Molina’s stock rose because of it.
“It was one of rare occasions where you can lose a fight and really win,” Molina says. “That was a definite pivotal point in my career.”
Throughout the fight, Molina and Matthysse stood toe-to-toe and hammered each other relentlessly.
“It was bombs away,” Molina says. “People in the front row were like, ‘If you could hear the shots that you guys were giving each other, it was unbelievable.’ They said it sounded like watermelon exploding every time we would hit each other.”