by David P. Greisman
This past Saturday’s fight between Jarrett Hurd and Oscar Molina was one of those nights where, besides a draw, one of the junior middleweight prospect’s “oh”s would have to go. In the end, it was Molina who suffered his first pro defeat after Hurd scored the 10th-round stoppage.
That Molina was able to make it that long was a credit to how well he bounced back from a knockdown early on, when Hurd countered Molina’s jab with a beautiful uppercut.
“I went low and I had my head down and he caught me with that uppercut in the first round,” Molina said afterward. “He got me with a shot I wasn't expecting, but it was definitely a flash knockdown. I wasn't hurt.”
Molina battled on in what was often a phone-booth battle. Hurd was nevertheless able to build a sizable lead on the scorecards going into the final rounds, when he began to distance himself from Molina even further. That led to a stoppage with about a minute left, an ending that some felt came too soon.
“I felt like Hurd was throwing a lot of punches in the 10th round, but they weren't really hurting me,” Molina said. “He was staying busy, but he was never really hurting me.”
Molina quickly acknowledged the mistakes he made, but also some of what Hurd was doing to make the fight more difficult.
“I was supposed to use my footwork a lot more but I ended up smothering my shots,” Molina said. “He had an awkward defense with a lot of bending down, and I couldn't get into a rhythm.”
Molina is now 13-1-1 with 10 KOs.
"This was a big opportunity for me and I felt like I fought a good fight,” he said. “I'm going to come back stronger. We're going to work on a lot of things and get back in there.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]