Steve Farhood was mesmerized by what was unfolding right in front of him the night of April 26, 2014.

The veteran Showtime analyst watched in amazement as hard-hitting former junior welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse and ever-courageous underdog John Molina Jr. just absolutely brutalized each other. Molina knocked down the heavily favored Matthysse in the second and fifth rounds, but a bloodied, battered Matthysse came back to drop Molina in the eighth, 10th and 11th rounds of a memorable brawl he won by 11th-round knockout at StubHub Center in Carson, California.

“It was fantastic,” Farhood, Showtime’s unofficial scorer that night, told “Not every fight can be like that, of course, but you get one like that, and the StubHub Center certainly has had its share, and it’s kind of a reminder of why you love boxing. Even if you’re an insider, you don’t know what’s gonna happen, and that’s the beauty of this sport. You don’t know what’s gonna happen. And then you get a fight like that, which was totally unpredictable, and it kind of reaffirms your belief in why this sport is so great to watch.”

The Boxing Writers Association of America and numerous media outlets named Matthysse-Molina its “Fight of the Year” for 2014. Showtime will replay their captivating clash, as well as Molina’s 10th-round knockout of Mickey Bey, back-to-back Friday night, starting at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

“You’ve gotta love John Molina,” Farhood said. “If you’re a fight fan, he’s the type of fighter you love because here’s a guy who gets his head snapped back seemingly every second punch, and yet he’s a threat to win literally until that final bell. We had seen that with Johnny prior to coming to Showtime with Henry Lundy, where he was way behind and scored a knockout in the 11th round. So, he had already established himself as a guy who could do this.

“Matthysse was coming off the loss to Danny Garcia, but he was still a brutal puncher. You think, OK, if Matthysse gets in a brawl with Molina, who would win? Well, you’ve gotta think Matthysse has a huge advantage because he was one of the best punchers in boxing. And look what happened – it was a tremendous fight, the fight of the year.”

Two bouts before Argentina’s Matthysse beat him, Molina was way down on all three scorecards versus Bey entering the 10th and final round. Bey beat up Molina in the first minute of the 10th round, but Molina belted Bey with a left hook that hurt him badly with 1:23 remaining in their fight.

Molina then landed several punishing punches that made referee Vic Drakulich step between them to save a vulnerable Bey from suffering unnecessary damage. A then-unbeaten Bey was ahead 90-81, 89-82 and 88-83 entering the 10th round of their lightweight fight in July 2013 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Farhood called that “ShoBox: The New Generation” main event from ringside.

“Mickey Bey was an outstanding boxer,” Farhood recalled. “He boxed the pants off Molina, and what happened in that fight is what happens sometimes against punchers like Molina. He found it so easy to hit Molina, ultimately he got away from his game plan. And in the last round of that fight, he got a little cocky. He had Floyd Mayweather, who was his promoter, rooting him on and boom! One punch and it was a whole different story. All it takes is one punch for a guy like Molina, and that’s what happened.”

The 37-year-old Molina (30-9, 24 KOs), of Covina, California, announced his retirement following an eighth-round knockout loss to Josesito Lopez on September 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.