Photos: German Villasenor / Team Molina
“I’m not gonna tell you what is gonna happen, what I can tell you is that we are training to win. That’s all we do, train to win,” says trainer Joe Goossen. Lightweight John “Gladiator” Molina, (24-1 19, KOs) back with Goossen after a brief separation is in the midst of his preparations towards his long-awaited first world title shot which takes place on September 8th. Molina, a no-nonsense boxer with a deadly right hand will take on Antonio DeMarco for the WBC Lightweight belt on the nationally televised co-featured fight to the Andre Ward vs. Chad Dawson at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
It has been a long road, in which Molina stopped his first opponent via spectacular KO in his pro-debut, reeling of a series of one shot KO wins until Molina, dropped a ten round decision to Martin Honorio for his only loss in 2009, as Molina came down with a cold hours before the fight went off.
The setback only fueled the West Covina resident, who went into a tear, scoring five stoppages in his next six fights. Among them, a devastating one punch KO over highly rated Hank Lundy in July of 2010 and capturing the vacant WBC-USNBC-Lightweight belt with a stoppage over Alejandro Rodriguez.
The victories called enough attention to the jovial Molina, earning him a shot at the defending WBC Lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco (27-2-1, 20 KOs)
In DeMarco, hailing from Los Mochis Sinaloa via Tijuana, Mexico, Molina will face a fellow, fearsome puncher, fighting from the southpaw stance.
Both fighters, have serious power in their fists, prefer to come forward, with nearly equal measurements as Molina at comes in at 5’10 ½ with a 72 inch reach and DeMarco stands at 5’10 with a 71 inch reach, the fight has all of the makings of a barn-burner for as long as it lasts.
DeMarco has only two losses, the first, to Anthony Vasquez via majority decision back in 2006 and once more to the vicious puncher, (RT in nine) to the late Edwin Valero (27-0, 27 KOs) in his first title shot in 2010.
Since then, DeMarco has defeated Daniel Attah, Reyes Sanchez, captured the WBC Lightweight belt in a come from behind stoppage over former world champion Jorge Linares and halted Miguel Roman in five heats back in March.
In DeMarco, Molina knows he has a very tough cookie, knowing what is at stake, he is preparing all out for the fight.
Catching up with Molina, the fighter went on to say “This is the Biggest fight of my life, I’m very appreciative of the opportunity I’ve been given, DeMarco is a true warrior, I thank him for stepping up to the plate to take the challenge.”
The fight has all the makings of a war, as both fighters, not exactly known for their technical skills, more than make up for it, with the ferocity of their come-forward attitude.
“DeMarco has said he is ready to die in the ring that night, and so am I, so stay tuned for fireworks,” Molina added.
“Every thing is great, everything is perfect and going really well, on schedule with weight, ahead of schedule in training.
“With little doubt of a what’s to come,” Molina concluded “I really don’t anticipate the fight going the 12 rounds, a fight friendly fight and I see myself walking away with the belt.”
The Molina vs. DeMarco 12 rd. WBC Lightweight World championship and the Dawson vs. Ward showdown is a Goossen-Tutor Promotions along with Gary Shaw Promotion.