MONTEBELLO, CA.-Like a crime from the past John Molina and Eddie Brooks tried to recreate the scene but found the intangibles had changed as the California lightweight won by decision this time over the jitter bugging Arizona boxer on Friday.
No knock out occurred on Friday at the Quiet Cannon as Molina took a unanimous decision over Brooks, who was more concerned about surviving than engaging in a slugfest like in their previous encounter.
“I’ve discovered recently that there are two kinds of fights: one where a fighter is trying not to get hit like a sparring match, or another where the other fighter wants to engage,” said Molina (13-0, 9 KOs). “He fought real squirrelly in this fight, he didn’t want to engage.”
Their first fight saw both fighters floored in a frisky lightweight match at the same venue and perhaps among the same frisky crowd, but in this encounter the hot summer night could only produce a chase scene where Molina looked a little disappointed that he could not provide fireworks with Brooks mimicking Usain Bolt.
From the first bell Brooks (7-2) moved in herky-jerky fashion, never letting Molina get a bead on his head. A few times he stopped and fired quick combinations to the body that landed flush. Then Molina responded with a couple of power combos that sounded like sonic booms from a Sabre Jet.
Buoyed by his corner man and trainer, Brooks leaped out of his stool in the second round with a steely-eyed look and more pronounced boxing stance as if daring Molina to enter his realm. And when the taller California lightweight entered the killing zone he was met with quick combos including some pops to the body throughout the second round.
It was Brooks' best round and looked to be the beginning of a turning of the tide. It was fools gold.
The third round saw Molina slip into another gear and fire his own body blows, mixed with rights and lefts to the head that found the target and echoed in the large hall in the Montebello golf course facility.
Molina’s supporters let out a roar of approval as their fighter began firing salvos on Brooks head and body. A left hook-right hand landed solidly and seemed to convince Brooks that standing in the fire zone was not a good idea.
In the fourth round Molina reenacted the third round with big walloping blows that mostly caught Brook’s gloves but the few that snuck in between the guard forced the Arizona fighter to seek sanctuary in another section of the ring.
With his trainer screaming instructions in his ear, urging him to engage in a firefight, Brooks entered the fifth round with other things in mind. Instead of trading blows in Antonio Margarito fashion, he decided to hit and run like Floyd Mayweather. He was doing a fairly good job in landing more blows than Molina, but with a few seconds left in the round, a long right hand found its mark on Brooks' head. Another round lost to mean Molina who repeatedly urged Brooks to engage.
The sixth and final round saw Brooks attempt to out-maneuver Molina into a mistake, but when the big right hand of Molina landed, the braveness evaporated from the Arizona fighter’s inner warrior spirit, thus allowing Molina to charge and keep charging. Neither fighter was hurt much in the last round but it was Brooks moving backwards that lost him the round.
All three judges scored it for Molina at 60-54, and 59-55 twice for the pro boxer from West Covina.
“It was a great learning experience,” said Molina, not looking any worse than he entered the fight. “We can do better.”
Ben Lira, the sage boxing trainer who has prepared Molina for all of his pro bouts, wants his fighter to enter the boxing ring at least two more times before the year 2008 has ended.
“He did some things well and other things he could do better,” said Lira who trains boxers at South El Monte Boxing Club. “His timing between punches is getting better.”
La Puente’s Abraham Lopez (4-0, 3 KOs) sprinted out of his corner in the first round against Las Vegas featherweight Omar Valencia (0-3) and rained blows from all angles in rapid fashion to force retreat. The Nevada boxer covered up but a couple of bolo punches and a left hook pierced Valencia’s guard and down he went for the count in 48 seconds. He was counted out by referee Raul Caiz Jr.
Debuting welterweights Ricky Duenas and Isauro Tapia discovered how tough a pro bout can be when they engaged. Both ended up absorbing a ton of blows in their four round contest. In the end it was Tapia who won the fight with a second round knock down coming from an overhand right hand. It proved the difference in the match as the judges scored it 39-36, 38-37 twice for Tapia. Both fighters are probably wondering if all their matches are going to be this tough.
San Francisco’s Alex Paracha scored a first round knockout over Bakersfield’s Linnie Johnson at 2:58 of the opening stanza of their welterweight fight. A solid left hook did the job over the smaller Johnson. He was counted out by referee Caiz Jr. It was the first pro bout for both boxers.
Nigeria’s Lateef Kayode (2-0) landed a perfect left hook to the body of Riverside heavyweight Mike Finney (1-2) at 58 seconds of the second round. Up until that moment, Finney’s crab defense was proving perplexing to Kayode. But when the arms went too high, the left hand found its mark. Finney could not get up as he knelt on one knee shaking his head. Referee Jerry Cantu counted him out.
Lots of boxing celebrities attended the All Star Boxing fight card, including Liz Quevedo the five-time U.S. National champion who fights on Sept. 27 in San Diego, Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis, Kingsley Ikeke and others.