by David P. Greisman
Junior-middleweight titleholder Carlos Molina isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing fighter, but he’s a formidable enough opponent that he’s scored wins over Ishe Smith, Cory Spinks and Kermit Cintron — and was ahead on the cards against James Kirkland in 2012 before being knocked down and controversially disqualified.
Molina (22-5-2, 6 KOs) will defend his belt against Jermall Charlo (17-0, 13 KOs) on March 8 on the undercard to the Canelo Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo pay-per-view. Charlo’s trainer, Ronnie Shields, says that they will also have to prepare for the way Molina uses his head in the ring.
Shields spoke with BoxingScene.com on Feb. 19.
BoxingScene.com: Where do you see Jermall Charlo as being in his career right now, and what kind of dangers do you see, or not see, in Carlos Molina?
Shields: “Carlos Molina is an awkward guy. He uses his head a lot. This guy, he’s a good fighter. He takes a good shot. But you have to be well aware of his head, because he jumps in with his head all of the time. Not sometimes. All of the time. So the referee is going to really have his work cut out, because I’m going to be on the referee the whole time. It’s just not fair that my guy is going to have to be watching out for a weapon that isn’t supposed to be a weapon.
“But at the same time, Jermall, man, I call him a beast because this kid works so hard. He’s one of these guys that if you underestimate him, he’s going to knock you out. The kid can punch with both hands, and he has the strongest jab ever. And that’s one thing Carlos Molina is going to have to get away from, is the jab. It ain’t no secret that we’re going to jab him. We’re going to jab the hell out of him. And we have other punches besides the jab. He seems to be more concerned with the jab than anything else. There’s way more to Jermall Charlo than just the jab. He’s got so much more stuff in his arsenal, and he’s going to really show it on March 8.”
BoxingScene.com: Are there certain fights of Carlos Molina’s that you’ve been looking at, both in terms of what he does well and what you can take advantage of?
Shields: “One fight I did study was the Kermit Cintron fight [Molina outpointed Cintron in July 2011], because I had Kermit in that fight. And then the last fight, with Ishe Smith. I think a guy’s only as good as his last fight. And really and truly, neither guy really showed me a whole lot. … They didn’t really do a whole lot, either one of them. I think it was the right call. I really think Carlos Molina won, because I think he did more, but I really wasn’t impressed with either guy.”
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org Tags: Carlos Molina , Jermall Charlo