Writers tend to manufacture drama where it barely exists, and term fights "crossroads" fights all the time. But for Amir Khan, in the main event at the LA Sports Arena on Saturday night, and on Showtime, basically all acknowledged coming in that a third consecutive loss would be a devastating and career crippling situation for the Brit. At age 26, off two straight losses, the last one a TKO loss to Danny Garcia, Khan had told all coming in that he knew he needed to beat Carlos Molina. With that pressure weighing on his shoulders, Khan stepped up, and broke his losing streak. After ten rounds, the Molina corner pulled the plug, saving their guy, who hadn't threatened Khan's chin since early on, from further punishment.
Khan (from Bolton, Lancashire, England; 28-3 entering) was 139 3/4 pounds, and Molina (17-0-1 entering, with just 7 KOs; age 27; from Norwalk, Cali; last fight was at 135) was also 139 3/4 pounds at the weigh-in.
A vacant junior welter title was up for grabs.
Khan went 312-679 to 87-335 against Molina, who it must be said didn't look like a guy who'd ever get to a higher class than he was on this night. Is Khan reborn after ditching Freddie Roach, switching gurus, to Virgil Hunter? Jury is still out, I'd say.
Khan after said Molina was tough, and that's why he stayed patient and boxed smartly. He said Virgil is teaching him to box smart, and is keeping him from being wild. He'd have beaten Danny Garcia on this night, he said, and would fight the Philly guy any place, any time.
Khan in round one was warmed up. He used that lengthy jab, and bloodied up the underdog right away. In the second, he was patient, and got off, and got out. A right buzzed Amir a bit with a minute left. In the third, Khan worked skillfully off the ropes, giving his fans a mini heart attack in the process. The Brit was also warned for holding behind the head. In round four, he put together an eight punch combo, and was quite confident. Molina's corner threatened to stop the fight. They did this a few times, as the rounds piled up and their guy kept on plodding, and not throwing enough. After round eight, the Molina corner told him that the fight was almost over, only a few rounds left, as if to cheer him up. The ref told the Molina corner he'd pull the plug if he didn't see more in round ten. Team Molina saw enough and after the tenth ended, they banged the gong.
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Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV