John Molina, Jr., (16-0, 12 KOs) is fast becoming a familiar face to boxing fans who like to watch weekend televised fights. The young pro from Covina, Calif., will fight for the third consecutive time on TV when he climbs into the ring against Frankie Archuleta (25-6-1, 14 KOs) on a special Saturday primetime edition of ShoBox: The New Generation, live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). The Molina-Archuleta fight is an eight-round junior lightweight affair. In the featured telecast, Andre Ward returns to Oakland for a 12-round fight against Edison Miranda at the Oracle Arena for Ward’s NABO and NABF super middleweight titles. SHOWTIME caught up with Molina on Wednesday for his thoughts on Saturday’s bout.
SHOWTIME: Do you get more nervous before the TV fights?
MOLINA: “I love fighting on TV and especially SHOWTIME. It’s great to showcase what I’m all about. You always get the butterflies. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be human.”
SHOWTIME: Have you trained differently for this fight?
MOLINA: “No, I don’t think so. I’m in the best shape of my life. Joe (Goossen) has prepared me really well. It’s his history and his track record. He likes action and a lot of output and non-stop fighting. With Joe it’s all about the output.”
SHOWTIME: What do you expect to see early on from your opponent on Saturday, Frankie Archuleta?
MOLINA: He’s a cagey veteran. He’s fought Johnny Tapia twice, Rocky Juarez and Armando Cordova to just name a few he’s been in the ring with. He’s been in there with the best of the best. I know what he brings to the table is experience. I expect him to come forward and be cagey and show me things I’ve never seen before.”
SHOWTIME: Name one thing that people may not know about you?
MOLINA: “That I was a hyper kid back in the day. I had ADHD really bad but I used it to my advantage by channeling all my energy into sports and athletics and here I am today a professional athlete with 12 knockouts. I was on two types of medication but, looking back on it, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
SHOWTIME: In your bio you list Oscar De La Hoya as you hero growing up. Is he still someone you look up to?
MOLINA: “I think he’s accomplished so much inside the ring and outside the ring. He never ducked anybody and he always put on a great fight. The last fight he fought you saw a shell of Oscar. I don’t think that was Oscar at his best. He’s still one of my favorites inside and outside the ring.”
SHOWTIME: Name one or two fighters you’d like to face in the future?
MOLINA: “There are a lot of names out there I’d like to have a shot at but I think I’ll wait to give you my answer at the end of 2009. Right now my focus is on Frankie Archuleta and Saturday night.”
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Saturday’s event will be being promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with Leonard Productions. The Ward-Miranda bout will be presented in association with Seminole Warriors Boxing. Tickets, starting at $25 are on sale at the Oracle Box Office and through Ticketmaster. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. PT. The first non-televised fight is at 5 p.m. PT.
Nick Charles and Steve Farhood will call the ShoBox action from ringside. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
For more information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go to the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://sports.sho.com.