Sunday, April 02, 2023  |



Mr. Molina returns the hero

Fighters Network
Tomasz Adamek (left) and Eric Molina after thei heavyweight bout at the Tauron Krakow Arena on April 2, 2016. Molina won by 10th round knockout. Photo credit: PAP/Stanisław Rozpędzik

Tomasz Adamek (left) and Eric Molina after their heavyweight bout at the Tauron Krakow Arena on April 2, 2016. Molina won by 10th round knockout. Photo credit: PAP/Stanisław Rozpędzik


Fancy yourself overburdened or label yourself a marvelous multi-tasker? Ponder this…

On Saturday, in Krakow, Poland, Eric Molina finished off Polish boxing royalty Tomasz Adamek in round 10 of their clash for an IBF regional belt. Two hours later, really, barely enough time for a leisurely shower, he was sitting on a plane back to the US, to Texas. He touched down at 7 p.m., Texas time, on Sunday and – what – headed home for a delicious nap, followed by quality time with the wife and friends in the area?

Nah, he had to ready himself to get back to work, as a special education teacher at J Economedes High School in Edinburg, Texas.

“I will say this: A Monday morning getting up to leave to work has never felt better,” Molina told me.

He made it to school and first bell rang at 7:45 a.m., Monday. “My students were happy. Some watched the fight but I don’t think they truly knew how big it was for me. The staff and administrators were emotional also and very happy.”

If they watched, they saw the Don King-promoted boxer fighting a Pole who wasn’t “shot.” In round nine, Adamek tossed a peppery jab, landed a solid sweeping left hook, looked to have ample energy for a home stretch. The 10th saw Adamek edging forward, maybe winning the round…until Molina had him backing up, edged him back/froze him up with a left hook decoy, then blasted the Pole on the chin with a straight right. He went down, on his back, head under the bottom rope and ring apron. Adamek made it to his feet at 9.5 but referee Leszek Jankowiak waved his hands, ending the affair. Molina broke down, dropped to the mat, pounded his mitts on the canvas, emotions surging.

I did it. I told you I could. I told you I would.

Wife Yesenia wiped tears from front row.

No one booed the victor inside Tauron Arena. The classy assembly saw he’d done it fair and square, had earned that belt.

Being a special ed teacher, overseeing the ones with the difficulties, be they developmental, emotional or psychological, I have to think the win could be an effective teaching tool.

“Yeah, it does mean a bunch to students and it also means a bunch to staff. I inspire them,” Molina said. “I walk next to them. I am them!”

You might think, jeez, guy deserves a week off to rest up, give his body and brain some downtime. Nope, it’s back to the 50-hour-a week grind for Mr. Molina.

But it feels like this played out just as it should and I think the fighter/role model was where he was supposed to be on Monday right. “Michael, there is no heavyweight in the world that can wear my shoes for a day,” said Mr. Molina before excusing himself to get his gear ready for another day of classroom duty.


Welcome home, Mr. Molina. Not for nothing, your inimitable brand of multi-tasking has inspired Woodsy to better juggle a cup of coffee and a slice at lunchtime. The guy might just throw in some frozen yogurt at this rate.




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