By Rick Reeno
MGM Grand, Las Vegas - The fight was far from pretty and most of the arena was silent as the action played out, but "King" Carlos Molina (22-5-2 6KOs) worked hard to win a twelve round split decision over Ishe Smith (25-6, 11KOs) to capture the IBF junior middleweight title. Smith was making his first defense of the belt. The scores were 117-111 for Molina, 116-112 for Smith and 116-112 Molina.
Molin was busier and landing more punches in the contest. Smith was picking his spots, but not being busy enough and allowing Molina to get off way too often. Smith started to let his hands go in the ninth. The action was close going down the stretch, but Molina was the busier and more aggressive fghter. Molina closed strong in the twelfth and final round, throwing a lot of punches and keeping Smith against the ropes for a good portion of the three minutes.