By Ian S Palmer
Terence Crawford vs John Molina Jr. Preview December 10th
WBC and WBO Super Lightweight Champion Terence Crawford will be defending his titles at the CenturyLink Center in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska this Saturday, December 10th when he squares off against John Molina Jr. of the U.S. The 12-round bout can be seen live in North America on HBO while UK fans can catch the action on BoxNation. The unbeaten Crawford won the WBC title the last time out when he beat Viktor Postol of Ukraine by a 12-round unanimous decision. Molina’s last fight was in June when he beat Ruslan Provodnikov by unanimous decision.
The 29-year-old former lightweight champion Crawford enters the ring with a perfect record of 29-0 with 20 Kos. He possesses excellent foot and hand speed and better-than-average power. He’s an accurate puncher who sometimes changes to southpaw and owns a solid chin, but sometimes gets off to a slow start. Basically, Crawford is the total package and is considered as one boxing brightest stars. He could eventually move up to the welterweight division at 147 lbs, but can’t look past Molina. Crawford is 5-feet-8-inches tall with a 70-inch reach and has boxed 147 rounds since turning pro in 2008.
Crawford also owns wins over the likes of Thomas Dulorme, Raymundo Beltran, Breidis Prescott, Ricky Burns and Yuriorkis Gamboa and his current knockout ratio stands at 69 per cent. However, he isn’t impossible to hit and this could be one of his toughest tests in the ring to date if Molina can connect on him. Molina will have to stay on top of the champion all night long though if he hopes to pull off a win as Crawford usually improves as the fight goes on. He’s also comfortable in both a boxing match and a slugfest.
The 33-year-old Molina of Kovina, California climbs through the ropes with a record of 29-6 along with 23 Kos. He’s struggled lately with five losses in his last 11 bouts. He has a slight size advantage as he’s just over 5-feet-10-inches tall and has a 71-inch reach. He’s a tough guy with a lot of experience and has been in a few wars. He’s another action boxer, but his best days are behind him now even though he managed to surprise many fans by beating Provodnikov. He’s got good power, but unfortunately his chin isn’t as solid as his fists, and that’s what makes him a fan-friendly fighter.
Molina’s losses have been against Martin Honorio by unanimous decision in 2009, to WBC lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco by first-round TKO in 2012, to Andrey Klimov by majority decision in 2013, to Lucas Matthysse by 11th-round stoppage in 2014, to Humberto Soto by unanimous decision in 2014 and to Adrien Broner by unanimous decision last year. His best wins have been against and Mickey Bey, Hank Lundy, Efren Hinojosa and Frankie Archuleta. Molina turned pro back in 2006 and has gone 165 rounds since and his knockout ratio currently stands at 66 per cent.
It’s not really in Molina’s nature to utilize his boxing skills as he can easily be drawn into a brawl. That’s why this bout could be a treat for the fans. They both have power and can both be hit without having to be chased around the ring. Molina may try to jab and get in and out as soon as possible rather than digging in the trenches and going toe-to-toe, but he’ll eventually have to stand his ground. Molina has fought some top grade boxers over the years, but the problem is, other than Provodnikov, he’s lost to them all.
Molina will give it a good shot as he’s never one to lack effort, but he’s up against a better boxer in Crawford. The champion will eventually wear Molina down and likely stop him some time in the second half of the fight.