Josh Kelly vs. Carlos Molina Set For Joshua vs. Parker Undercard

By Keith Idec

Josh Kelly will face an experienced former world champion in just his sixth pro bout.

Promoter Eddie Hearn announced Wednesday that the British welterweight prospect will meet Mexican veteran Carlos Molina on the Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker undercard March 31 in Cardiff, Wales. Molina lost back-to-back unanimous decisions in 2017, yet still represents a noteworthy step up in competition for the 24-year-old Kelly.

“[Trainer] Adam Booth said it’s time for me to step up, so let’s go,” Kelly said. “I feel this is a real test against a proven fighter. He’s a former world champion, so you can’t deny this is my biggest fight to date. I can’t wait to step between those ropes in Cardiff and propel myself into the mix.”


Facing Molina on the Joshua-Parker undercard also is a high-profile opportunity for the 2016 Olympian. A capacity crowd in excess of 78,000 is expected to pack Principality Stadium that night.

Kelly (5-0, 4 KOs) wants to become the first fighter to knock out the 34-year-old Molina (28-8-2, 8 KOs), a Chicago resident who held the IBF junior middleweight title from September 2013 until October 2014.

“He’s never been stopped, so it says a lot,” Kelly said. “Just look at the names on his record, that he’s been in with. I know how tough he will be. I want to perform on the big stage. I’m very excited to say the least.

“I feel physically, mentally and emotionally ready to take this step up and have been for a fight or two. I’ve learned a lot in the fights and in training over the past year, and also got to know myself even more.”

Kelly most recently stopped France’s Jean Michel Hamilcaro (25-9-3, 6 KOs) in the sixth round December 13 in London. He has won four straight bouts by knockout.

Molina dropped unanimous decisions in consecutive fights in the home countries of his opponents last year.

The Dominican Republic’s Carlos Adames (13-0, 11 KOs) beat him July 26 in Santo Domingo. France’s Ahmed El Mousaoui (27-3-1, 6 KOs) defeated Molina on October 14 in Paris.

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 Chrismart on 03-28-2018

[B]Inside the mind of Josh Kelly[/B] *Long Read* [I]Josh Kelly fights Carlos Molina on the Joshua-Parker undercard in Cardiff. [/I] THERE are 303 – yes, three hundred and three – unopened and unread text messages on Josh Kelly’s phone. He…

Comment by RJJ-94-02=GOAT on 03-07-2018

[QUOTE=Corelone;18553561]At this stage, a name might be counter productive. If Kelly wins, and knowing Hearn, I'm pretty sure he will. He'll be expected to perform with other big names or get criticized for stepping back in competition. Just the same,…

Comment by FinitoxDinamita on 03-07-2018

This isnt the same Molina from years ago. He has been on the decline for awhile now and if Kelly is good as advertised, he shouldnt have much problems.

Comment by Corelone on 03-07-2018

[QUOTE=RJJ-94-02=GOAT;18552144]Yeah he’s a cheap b*stard, I don’t mind this fight though. I agree Molina is a spent force but a dominant win for Kelly would still be a statement especially if he forces a stoppage which I doubt.[/QUOTE] At this…

Comment by Sickmerch1990 on 03-07-2018

British superstar in the making top fight for your 6th contest think he will be the 1st boxer to stop molina good undercard aj v parker cant wait

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