LAS VEGAS – Javier Molina recorded the most noteworthy win of his 10-year pro career Saturday night.
The 2008 U.S. Olympian upset Amir Imam by unanimous decision in an eight-round welterweight bout on the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury undercard at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Judge Chris Flores scored seven of the eight rounds for Molina (79-73), whereas judges John McKaie (78-74) and Dave Moretti (78-74) scored six rounds apiece for the Norwalk, California native.
The 30-year-old Molina (22-2, 9 KOs) extended his winning streak to five since suffering a 10-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Jamal James in January 2016. The 29-year-old Imam (22-3, 19 KOs), who was listed as a 2-1 favorite, fought for just the second time since Jose Ramirez beat him by unanimous decision to win the then-vacant WBC super lightweight title in March 2018.
Molina snapped back Imam’s head with a right hand that landed just before the halfway point of the eighth and final round. An overhand right by Imam landed flush later in the eighth, but Molina stood his ground and fired back with a hard left to Imam’s body.
Imam landed two right hands in the final minute of the seventh round. Molina came back with a left hook, but it had become clear by then that neither fight would be able to hurt his opponent.
Molina clipped Imam with a flush left hook just before the sixth round ended.
Molina landed two right hands with just under a minute remaining in the fifth round. He landed a left to Imam’s body later in the fifth.
Imam and Molina each defended himself well during an uneventful fourth round.
Molina snuck in a short right hand with about 50 seconds to go in the third round. Imam had trouble landing clean shots on an elusive Molina in each of the first two rounds, when Molina mostly moved backward as Imam pressed the action.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.