By Cliff Rold
Lightweight John Molina (25-2, 20 KO) of Covina, California, rebounded from the worst night of his professional life on Friday night at the Pueblo Pavilion in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with a vicious fourth round knockout of 28-year old Dannie Williams (22-3, 18 KO) of St. Louis, Missouri. The loss was Williams second in his last three starts and the first stoppage loss of his career. Molina was making his first start since a disappointing 44-second loss to then-WBC Lightweight titlist Antonio DeMarco.
Molina came into the bout a half-pound over the Lightweight limit at 135 ½. Williams weighed in at 136. The referee was Rocky Burke.
Molina came out with an authoritative right jab, Williams firing back with his own and trying to establish his quickness as a factor. The action was measured, even tepid, as the first three minutes unfolded. Williams took advantage in the final minute, a lead right landing, and Molina answered with a stiff shot just before the bell.
The tempo picked up in the second, Williams boxing well and finding some long, clean right hands. Molina stalked but never landed much of significance.
A clash of heads near the ropes early in the third left Williams shaking his head. Burke ruled an accidental head butt and gave Williams up to five minutes to recover. Williams took less and action resumed with Williams still ably slinging the right. A long Molina right struck just before the midway point, Williams answering before the final minute began. A sweeping left caught Williams on the ropes. Pursuing Williams, a harder left landed for Molina. Williams’ legs shook but he stayed afoot.
Molina missed with a big right, Williams trapped in the corner and using the chance to circle out in the first minute of the fourth. Flirting with letting his back touch the ropes too often, Williams managed to continue to evade danger. A backwards step as he was near them again ended the night. Timing Williams going straight back, Molina used a light jab to open up Williams to a blind, smashing overhand right. Williams dropped and rolled to his stomach, his face looking down outside the ring. When he rose, Williams was on the outside of the ring and found Burke’s waving arms signaling the count of ten at 2:16 of round four.
In eight-round Super Middleweight action, 28-year old Brandon Gonzalez (17-0, 10 KO), 167 ½, of Sacramento, California, won a decisive unanimous decision over 34-year old Don Mouton (12-5-1, 10 KO), 164, of Houston, Texas.
While the hooking Mouton had some moments in the fight, it was Gonzalez who controlled most of the action. Working off the left jab and banging to the body, Gonzalez controlled the distance in the fight and consistently worked Mouton to the ropes. Both men worked hard inside but it was Gonzalez landing more, and cleaner. The final scores were academic, and maybe a bit Mouton friendly, for Gonzalez at 78-75 and 77-75 twice.
The loss ends a three-fight win streak for Mouton who returned to action in 2012 after being previously incarcerated. The referee was Richard Espinosa.
The televised opener featured an engaging, if sometimes wild, battle between Jr. Welterweights making their pro debut. A left hook and straight right hand ended matters in favor of 20-year old Brandon Holmes (1-0, 1 KO), 138 ¼, of Santa Fe, Mexico, at :36 seconds of the fourth and final scheduled round. 25-year old Mexican Alberdo Esparza (0-1), 139, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was game but outgunned. The referee was Richard Espinosa.
Welterweight: Eduardo Domiguez (1-0) UD4 Joshua Montoya (0-2)
The card was televised in the U.S. on ESPN2 as part of its “Friday Night Fights” series, promoted by Goosen Tutor Promotions.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]