Friday, January 27, 2023  |


Adrien Broner to look for knockout vs. John Molina Jr.

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Naoki Fukuda


While John Molina Jr. has predicted pain for Adrien Broner in their junior welterweight clash on March 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Broner will be out to deliver a knockout.

“A victory is a victory but nothing is like a knockout. I love knockouts and the fans love knockouts and stoppages,” said Broner, 25. “I feel like with my skills and if I come in and do the things that I know that I can do, it’s a great chance that I do stop John Molina and this is boxing. A knockout is only one punch away.”

Broner-Molina is part of the debut of NBC’s new boxing series titled, “Premier Boxing Champions” (“PBC on NBC”), that is part of a multi-year deal between the network and adviser Al Haymon. The other bout in the doubleheader matches RING No. 7-rated welterweight Keith Thurman and RING No. 8 Robert Guerrero.

A three-division titlist nicknamed “The Problem,” Broner (29-1, 22 knockouts) won a unanimous decision victory over Emmanuel Taylor in September, representing his second consecutive junior welterweight fight since falling by unanimous decision to Marcos Maidana in Dec. 2013.

“I take nothing from John Molina. He’s rough and tough…but I’m the man,” said Broner, who was floored once each in the second and eighth rounds by Maidana. “It’s nothing personal. He can definitely hang with me on March 7 but up until then, he’s definitely the opponent. So I’m going in there to get my victory.”

Broner had earned a belt in a third weight class when he jumped from lightweight to win his 147-pound debut – and the WBA strap – by split decision over Paulie Malignaggi in June 2013.

“I definitely will be champion at 140 pounds one day,” said Broner, “but for this fight, my main task is getting my victory and looking good doing that.”

Molina (27-5, 22 KOs) is attempting come back from two straight losses, having been unanimously decisioned by former lightweight titleholder Humberto Soto in September and knocked out in the 11th round by Lucas Matthysse last April. Against Matthysse, Molina was dropped three times in a thriller in which he also floored Matthysse once each in the second and fifth rounds.

Molina is 3-4 with three knockouts in his past seven bouts, the first of which was a 44-second stoppage loss to former titleholder Antonio DeMarco in Sept. 2012. During that time, however, Molina has also scored impressive knockouts in the fourth round over Dannie Williams in Jan. 2013 and previously undefeated Mickey Bey in the 10th and final round in July of that year.

“Adrien is very quick-handed and very talented and you can’t deny that or what he has accomplished in the ring. We’re extremely 100 percent confident and we’re going to go in there and implement our will and become victorious that night. I feel like I’ll be the stronger man in the ring. Of course, I believe that Adrien is a true fighter and that he’s going to try to sit there and compete with me. I think that he has huge pride and a lot of big ego, so he’ll definitely want to sit there and exchange with me,” said Molina, 32.

“That would be something that we would welcome with open arms. That’s my style. It’s no secret. I’ve always said that you’re not going to play chess with Bobby Fischer. I’m not going to say that I’m quicker-handed than Adrien Broner. He has his strengths and I have my strengths. We have two guys who believe that they’re going to be victorious on March 7 and on March 7, we’re going to find out who is telling the truth.”

Broner is just as confident that his hand will be raised.

“I’m just ready to put on a show. I know that John Molina is going to come in swinging for the fences. This is a big, big turnaround for his career. If he beats Adrien Broner, who knows where his career can go?” said Broner.

“I’m going to do the same thing that I’ve done as always. I’m going to come in and put on a show. I’m going to come in there dancing and doing what I do. I’m going to do whatever I have to do get my victory. John Molina, he’s not an enemy, though. I like him. He’s kind of cool. He can hang with me one day.”