Sunday, April 02, 2023  |


Molina scores rejuvenating KO on FNF

Fighters Network

John Molina rebounded from the worst night of his professional career with a highlight-reel knockout on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, stopping Dannie Williams in the fourth round at the Pueblo Pavilion in Santa Fe, N.M.

Molina (25-2, 20 knockouts) landed a stiff jab with a overhand right behind it, which connected on the top of Williams’ head and put him down like a top. He lay with his head dangling over an official’s table and got up on the other side of the apron as referee Rocky Burke reached the count of 10 at 2:16.

“It was a great right hand,” said Molina. “It was a good fight that we needed to get back. Dannie Williams is a great competitor; a lot of knockouts, a lot of power in his punch. With my new trainer Robert Garcia having me press the issue a little bit more ÔǪ we went on and landed the right hand, and it’s no secret I have power in my right hand.”

Williams (22-3, 18 KOs) built an early lead on the strength of his overhand rights, but suffered a cut over his left eye after an accidental clash of heads in the third. The following frame, the fourth-generation boxer Molina ended matters with the devastating combination, reestablishing himself at 135 pounds.

The Covina, Calif., native was in dire need of a strong performance after his most recent outing. On that September night Molina, 30, made his HBO debut, but it lasted all of 44 seconds at the hands of Antonio DeMarco. Molina suffered feverish criticism for not having the wherewithal to take a knee, but exacted a measure of redemption on this Friday night.

“I was never hurt [in the loss to DeMarco],” said Molina. “That fight’s in the past now.”

It was the second consecutive loss for Williams, 28, on ESPN and second in three fights. He lost to Hank Lundy on the network in March 2012. Lundy served as a common opponent for Molina and Williams, with Molina stopping him in their 2010 encounter.

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In the televised co-feature, Northern California prospect Brandon Gonzales remained undefeated with a workmanlike eight-round unanimous decision over Canadian Don Mouton.

Scores were 78-75, 77-75 and 77-75 for Gonzales.

Gonzales (17-0, 10 KOs) struggled at times and turned in a boring performance in the bout. Mouton (12-5-1, 10 KOs) was fighting for the fourth time since doing a three-year stint in a Texas prison.