John Molina's Trainer Predicts 'A War' With Terence Crawford

By Keith Idec

Conventional wisdom would indicate that John Molina Jr.’s best chance – his only chance, really – to upset Terence Crawford would be to bait Crawford into a brawl Saturday night.

That type of fight could favor Molina, whose renowned power is perhaps his only advantage over the reigning WBC/WBO super lightweight champion. Crawford probably is too smart to be lured into such a slugfest, but the undefeated favorite has shown in many of his fights that he isn’t reluctant to trade punches.

Maybe that’s why Sam Watson – a confidante of Molina’s adviser, Al Haymon – and Molina’s trainer, Shadeed Suluki, predicted Thursday during a press conference that Crawford-Molina will “be a war.” Or maybe it was wishful thinking.

crawford-molina-weight (4)

“It’s gonna be a good fight,” Suluki said. “We’re ready. We’re prepared, had a very good camp. It’s gonna be a different John Molina come Saturday night. It’s gonna be a good one. It’s gonna be a war, and that’s what everybody wanna see. It’s gonna be a boxer, then you got a warrior. And we’re gonna see who’s gonna be able to impose their will. That’s who’s gonna win that night.”

The 33-year-old Molina (29-6, 23 KOs), a 14-1 underdog according to most sports books, was very respectful of Crawford (29-0, 20 KOs) in advance of their HBO “World Championship Boxing” main event at CenturyLink Center in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, Crawford’s hometown.

“He’s done well for the city [of Omaha],” Molina said. “He’s an honorable champion, a great champion, and highly touted for good reason. Our job is to go and disrupt that on December 10th, Saturday. We trained well, and if we didn’t, I wouldn’t tell you. … We prepared well. Terence is a unique champion. I don’t like to compare him to anybody because he’s very special in that way. But with that being said, we are prepared for the best version of Terence Crawford. And a fight is what everyone’s gonna get. And I believe the Omaha fans are gonna be very thankful for that night – for the fight and the action they’re gonna get December 10th.”

Crawford-Molina will headline HBO’s tripleheader, set to begin at 9:35 p.m. ET/PT.

The telecast will start with a recorded fight that concluded earlier today, with New Zealand’s Joseph Parker (21-0, 18 KOs) versus American Andy Ruiz (29-0, 19 KOs) for the vacant WBO world heavyweight title. After Parker-Ruiz, which will contested in Auckland, New Zealand, HBO’s live action will shift to Omaha for a 10-round lightweight encounter – Phoenix’s Ray Beltran (31-7-1, 19 KOs, 1 NC) against Mason Menard (32-1, 24 KOs), of Rayne, Louisiana.

Menard was a late replacement for former lightweight champion Juan Diaz (42-4, 21 KOs), who battled neck and back injuries during training camp. Menard officially replaced Diaz less than three weeks before this fight.

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

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by fsutton on 12-10-2016

loooooong time lurker. I'll weigh in here. I think Bud has this, albeit this is boxing and we can't negate from Molina's powerful punches. Molina imho seems a bit big for the division once he rehydrates as his size/weight advantage…

Comment by Snoop Frog on 12-10-2016

Nice attempt at making this one seem competitive, especially since Molina looked like an average joe at the weigh in. I hope Molina proves me wrong and makes a scrap out of this.

Comment by SteveM on 12-10-2016

[QUOTE=BIGPOPPAPUMP;17265461]Conventional wisdom would indicate that John Molina Jr.'s best chance his only chance, really to upset Terence Crawford would be to bait Crawford into a brawl Saturday night. That type of fight could favor Molina, whose renowned power is perhaps…

Comment by Mpower on 12-10-2016

Don't know, Crawford takes this.

Comment by skipwade74 on 12-10-2016

Boxing needs guys like soft John John Molina who go out with limited skills and face great fighters and get their ass whipped repeatedly for pay checks. With out stooges like Molina boxing would have a hard time getting easy…

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