By Keith Idec
John Molina Jr. demonstrated yet again Friday night why he is one of the most fan-friendly fighters in boxing.
The courageous junior welterweight withstood a second-round knockdown to drop Ivan Redkach once apiece in the third and fourth rounds, and knocked out Redkach in the fourth round. FS1 televised their thrill-filled, back-and-forth slugfest from Pioneer Event Center in Lancaster, California.
In the fourth round, Molina (30-7, 24 KOs) hurt Redkach (20-4, 16 KOs) with a right hand to the body, then a right hand to the head and a left hook. Referee Eddy Hernandez Jr. began waving an end to the fight as Redkach fell to the canvas.
The official time of the stoppage was 1:27 of the fourth round.
Molina somehow recovered after almost getting knocked out in the second round to knock down Redkach in the third round. A straight right hand by Molina landed directly to the middle of Redkach’s face and floored him with 55 seconds to go in the third.
A staggered Redkach got up and just as Molina did during the previous round, showed extreme toughness to bob, weave and hold his way to the end of the round.
Redkach unloaded a barrage of punches on Molina, starting with about one minute to go in the second round. With Molina retreating, Redkach landed a straight left hand that dumped Molina to the seat of his trunks with 50 seconds remaining in the second.
The ever-brave Molina got up, held, fired back and was able to survive serious trouble.
Redkach went down just before the end of the first round, but Hernandez ruled Molina shoved him down with his right arm. Molina and Redkach seemed to bump heads before Redkach went down as well.
With about 1:15 left in the first round, Redkach connected with a right hook that got Molina’s attention.
Before battling Redkach, Molina, of Covina, California, hadn’t fought in more than a year. Former undisputed 140-pound champion Terence Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) dominated Molina in that December 2016 fight in Omaha, Nebraska, Crawford’s hometown.
Ukraine’s Redkach moved up from lightweight to meet Molina in a junior welterweight fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.