Tuesday, October 03, 2023  |



Molina outworks, outboxes Provodnikov to decision win

Fighters Network

Hardcore fans that were looking forward to the Ruslan Provodnikov-John Molina fight were expecting lots of punches and lots of action. The junior welterweight sluggers delivered that in a competitive and entertaining 12-round scrap.

However, Molina brought something unexpected to the Showtime-televised WBO 140-pound title elimination bout – ring generalship and smart boxing tactics.

Molina surprised Provodnikov, a heavy odds favorite, and most observers by working a busy jab, one-two combinations and even sticking-and-moving in spots on his way to a hard-earned (and deserving) decision.

Molina (28-6, 23 knockouts), a 33-year-old puncher from Covina, California, won by scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.

“Everyone knows I can punch, nobody knew that I knew how to throw punches,” Molina said, crediting his improved technique to new trainer Shadeed Suluki. “I knew that I won that fight and I knew that it was going to be hard for them to take it away from me.

“This was a fight that we needed. Ruslan is a notable name.”

The Russian pressure fighter is also a straight shooter, as he agreed with the decision and acknowledged that Molina was the better fighter on this night.

“I wasn’t my night tonight,” said Provodnikov, “maybe I don’t have the hunger any more. There’s no excuses.”

After engaging with Provodnikov in high-volume tit-for-tat combat during the first three rounds, Molina took control of the middle rounds with a busy jab and smart choices. He beat Provodnikov to the punch, moved when he needed to, stood and traded when he needed to, and got back to his jab when it was necessary.

Provodnikov staged a mini-rally in Rounds 10 and 11 by discovoring his own jab and landing solid shots from the outside, but Molina won the final round in the fashion that he had won the majority of previous rounds – by boxing.


A full ringside report will be posted shortly.