Following his hard fought majority decision loss to Keith Thurman earlier this year, 🇺🇸Josesito Lopez (37-8-0, 20KO) bounced back to win the battle of the Southern California warriors, beating 🇺🇸John Molina (30-9-0, 24KO) by 8th round TKO.
Bringing Lopez, “The Riverside Rocky”, and Molina, “The Gladiator, together in the ring had the potential to steal the show on the Errol Spence/Shawn Porter undercard Saturday night at the Staples Center. Both mens history as all action fighters had most in the boxing world feeling this was destined to be nothing less than another classic slugfest to add to their resume.
That’s not what happened once the opening bell sounded. It didn’t take long to realize that the fight was going to be a lot more one sided than many had predicted as Lopez put Molina down halfway through the first minute of the first round and again with a body shot near the end of the round.
Molina showed his usual toughness and fighting spirit in the next few rounds, particularly the fifth, but in the seventh round a right hand from Lopez put him on the canvas for the third time. Molina would rise again and took another clean shot before the round ended.
Molina’s corner, referee Ray Corona and the ringside doctor felt enough was probably enough at this point, but against everyone’s better judgement, they granted Molina’s wish to come out for the eighth round. Corona told him the first clean shot he saw Molina take it was over, and kept that promise waving the bout off just 40 seconds into round eight preventing Molina from taking anymore shots.
If you have kept up with Molina during the course of his career, you probably had a good sense of what was about to happen in the fight when he suffered his very first knockdown. We were watching all the battles his body had been through catch up to him, and though he showed the classic Molina will and want to, he just couldnt match Lopez who is just a year younger at 35, but the fresher fighter by comparison.
It should be noted that besides the number of wars he has been in, it was just this past July that we were supposed to see Molina take on Sergey Lipinets but he was forced to withdraw due to a back injury. Molina has never been anything close to a defensive wizard, but Saturday he couldn’t avoid anything from Lopez, and it appears that back is still an issue and possibly will be from this point on.
As for Lopez, he says there is still plenty of fight left in him and promises that he wont be an easy out for anybody in the Welterweight division.