Saturday nights battle against Josesito Lopez didn’t pan out the way 🇺🇸John Molina Jr. had hoped it would. Molina was out down twice in the opening round and three times overall, eventually being stopped in the eighth round.
It appears the reality that the gas tank is on E set in for Molina after that fight, and after 14 years in the ring, “The Gladiator” has announced his decision to retire from the ring. He finishes his career with a record of 30-9-0 with 24 knockouts.
During his career Molina challenged for world titles twice, first against Antonio DeMarco for the WBC World Lightweight title in 2012, and in 2016 when he took on Terence Crawford for his WBC/WBO junior welterweight straps. Molina came out on the losing end in both attempts, but in the same vein as two of my favorites, Jose Soto Karass and Mauricio Herrera, who always brought it but never claimed world titles, those losses didn’t take away his status as a fan favorite, because his all action approach lived up to his ring moniker of “The Gladiator”.
I want to go over a few of my favorite John Molina moments…
Vs Hank Lundy (July, 9, 2010): In a lightweight bout on Friday Night Fights, Molina (20-1-0, 16KO) pulled off the comeback after finding himself behind on the judges scorecards. Lundy (18-0-1, 10KO) was in control for the first half of the fight, but Molina delivered a right hand in the 8th round that caught Lundy in a lapse with his hands dropped, putting him down. Lundy got to his feet and fought on for three more rounds until the referee stepped in at 2:18 of the 11th round, when Lundy was hurt again by a Molina left hand, and taking shots, giving the Philly fighter his first loss.
Vs Mickey Bey (July 19, 2013): Molina (26-3, 21 KO) again found himself behind on the judges cards by scores of 90-81, 89-82, and 88-83. Even Showtime’s Steve Farhood had it 89-82 for Bey, and stated that Molina “needed the nine-run homer” to pull a win out.
Bey (18-1-1, 9 KO), fully in control and feeling the encouragement from his team and fans ringside, let loose in the 10th, seemingly having Molina dead to rights. Molina dug deep and responded with the homerun Farhood referenced as Bey was caught and staggered by a left hook and swarmed by a flurry of big shots, never to recover, as Molina stayed on top of him until referee Vic Drakulich stepped in to halt the bout.
Vs Lucas Matthysse ( April 26, 2014): Easily the best battle of his career, and was in all out war. He put Matthysse (35-2-0, 33KO) down in the second and fifth rounds, but Matthysse stormed back, dropping Molina (27-4-0, 22KO) rounds eight and ten.
As was expected, both guys had their mind set on getting a knockout, delivering and taking bombs, digging deep to stay in during fiery exchanges. Both received nasty cuts as well, Molina behind his ear and Matthysse received a bad gash over the left eye.
At the end of the 10th, Matthysse was stepping on the gas and before the 11th round the referee told Molina’s head man Joe Goosen that the ringside doctor was concerned, Goosen told Molina “you better start swingin”.
Unfortunately for Molina he was dropped hard early in the 11th, and the fight was stopped. He, as well as Matthysse, gave it all and then some in 11 rounds of chaos and bloody, brutal combat by two gladiators.