Javier Molina Looks To Reach Full Potential On Saturday Night, on ESPN+
At 30-years-old who would’ve thought super lightweight Javier Molina is seemingly one win away from fighting for a world title.
“I’m cool with being the underdog. There is a reason I’m seen that way, and it’s because I haven’t shown my full potential. Fans haven’t seen all I can do in the ring. Like I said, I’m alright with being the underdog. I’m going to surprise a lot of people on Saturday.” said Molina at the fight-week press conference.
Molina, an outstanding amateur, won who bronze medal at the 2006 Cadet World Championships at lightweight as well as a national title at the 2006 Junior Olympic International Invitational.
Molina held a win over Karl Dargan, the man who the PanAm Games that year as well as defeated Jermey Bryan, Danny O’Connor, and Brad Solomon.
Molina went on to win the 2007 Olympic Trials, and qualified for the 2008 Olympics, but lost in the first round.
Not unlike a lot of fighters, being good was only part of the equation as Javier Molina lost in his tenth fight to Artemio Reyes on a Goossen boxing card. A major disappointment for his pedigree.
Molina worked himself back on the smaller circuits but saw himself as one of the first career-defining wins for Jamal James in 2016. At this point, it felt like Javier Molina was going to be a good name on the resume of emerging contenders, and a story of ‘what could’ve been.’
“There were some tough times where I thought about not fighting anymore, but I have so much to give in the sport. That’s why I decided to turn my career around. I have dedicated myself to the sport, and that’s why I’m this position right now.”
Molina took two years off, and ten years after his professional debut, was fighting at the lowest weights of his professional career campaigning at 140 lbs as opposed to 147 lbs, which he had been prior.
After one win at 140 lbs., Molina ran the gauntlet of tough fighters beating Hiroki Okada and Amir Imam in back-to-back fights, both of whom were signed to Top Rank Inc, which leads the way to Jose Pedraza, a former Olympian and two-division world champion.
Molina now is looking to live up to the potential he had in the amateur as Molina was one of the best in the world 12-years-ago, but to do so, Molina is facing one of boxing’s best overachievers.
“By beating Pedraza, I put myself in a good position to challenge for a world title. I know that a victory against a great name like Pedraza will bring me closer to that opportunity to become a champion.”
Jose Pedraza might find himself in the hall-of-fame without one fight people remember, as despite being a fighter who doesn’t merit a ton of attention he has held two belts and with a win a could be in-line for a chance at third world title in his third weight class.
So why should you care about this bout?
Molina versus Pedraza, sees an aggressive fighter Molina, trying to live up to the potential that was once labeled to him, fighting a patience distance fighter in the Puerto Rican, Pedraza, who would be content to slow the fight down and fight in spurts.
“Pedraza looked good against LesPierre, but I’m not LesPierre. He is flatfooted and I’m not. We have been studying all his recent fights and my game plan is similar to what Lomachenko and Zepeda did against him. If they think I’m going to be outgunned this Saturday, they are in for a big surprise.”