Chicago junior middleweight "King" Carlos Molina says he's had a perfect training camp in preparation to fight for his dream of winning a world championship.
Molina (21-5-2, 6 KOs) will face defending champion and Las Vegas resident Ishe Smith (25-5 11 KOs) for the IBF Light Middleweight Championship on Saturday, September 14, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, on the undercard of the 12-round Floyd "Money" Mayweather vs. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez fight for Canelo's WBC and WBA Super Welterweight World Championships and Mayweather's WBA Super Welterweight Super World Championship.
"Training has been going as good as it can get," said Molina. "I'm used to being the underdog and going into other people's hometowns and everyone thinking I won't win. I'm used to dealing with that. I never let anything get me down. I prepare myself mentally and physically for any obstacle."
Molina, who says winning a world championship would be the realization of his lifelong dream, is trying hard not to get excited or let the pressure of fighting on this year's biggest boxing event get to him.
"You have to take it as another fight. It's a good feeling to fight for a title, especially on this stage, but I know that I can't get excited until I bring the belt back to Chicago. Once I have it, then I can be more excited. I've been through a lot of bad decisions and stuff, so I'm just staying focused. Besides, I treated all my fights like they were for a world championship. I have a lot of practice for this fight because every fight I've gone into, I've mentally told myself it was for a world title. I love the pressure. I feel like it pushes me through camp and keeps me working hard."
Molina also says the public shots Smith has been taking at him via the Internet are not a concern.
"Nothing he says can bother me. All that talk doesn't matter. You go in and win and do your job. He's a well-rounded fighter, but I'm just going to go in there and do what I do and beat him. I can adjust to whatever he brings. Me and my trainer (Victor Mateo [original trainer Lou Askenette also works the corner on fight night] have a plan A through Z and I'll be ready to adjust to anything."
It's been a long, tough and unlikely rise for the previously little-known Molina, but he's kept himself positive and focused, just as his parents taught him. And now his lifelong dream stands before him with only one man standing in the way. And what will he do if he does each his dream on September 14? He's already got a new dream in mind.
"The world championship is right there for me for the taking. I have to go get it. That's what I always wanted since the first day I started boxing. For me to be here and so close to reaching my goal is the greatest feeling. I won't stop here though. I want this belt, but I want it to be my first of many. I want them all in my division. With my style, I can figure out any boxer. I want to get this title and defend it as much as possible. As long as I'm healthy, I'll just keep defending it every month or two and fight everybody like they used to do back in the day."