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Molina Jr. Stops Archuleta

John MolinaBy Jason Kin: Unbeaten lightweight John Molina Jr. (17-0, 13 KOs) defeated Frankie Archuleta (25-7-1, 14 KOs) by a 2nd round TKO on Saturday night on the undercard of the Andre Ward vs. Edison Miranda clash at the Oracle Arena, in Oakland, California. Molina Jr. unloaded with a storm of shots in the 2nd round, knocking Archuleta to the canvas late in the round. The referee David Mendoza then stepped in and prematurely stopped at 2:04 of the round.

It’s unknown why the referee decided to stop the fight at that time, because Archuleta looked good enough to continue fighting. Perhaps Mendoza didn’t like the look in Archuleta’s eyes. I couldn’t see it, but given that Mendoza was closer, he might have seen that Archuleta was more hurt than he appeared to be to me.

If not, then Mendoza made a mistake and stopped it too soon. Archuleta, 33, had a grin on his face after the knockdown, as if he was in over his head against Molina. When the referee motioned for Archuleta to come forward, he continued to grin as he came forward.

I suppose the referee read that Archuleta was simply overwhelmed by the shots and didn’t want to continue. Archuleta certainly didn’t argue his case after the stoppage and instead just walked past the referee without saying anything. The Oakland crowd hated it, and booed Archuleta for a long time after the fight.

Molina gets another win, but he still didn’t look all that impressive to me because he took a lot of head shots in the first and 2nd rounds. Molina was punching fine, he has no problem in that department. It’s his defense, or lack thereof, that is his main problem.

Molina’s head seems to be a magnet for punches for some reason. At this point, he’s still not fighting the top guys yet, but when the time comes I have serious reservations about how Molina will do against the best in the lightweight division. Ideally, Molina will learn how to block some punches with his gloves instead of with his head before then.

Archuleta landed a lot of shots in the first round, tagging Molina with right hands and left hooks and staying on the constant move. At 5’7”, Archuleta looked tiny compared to the 5’10 ½” Molina, but despite the lack of height, Archuleta had no problems connecting with his punches.

Indeed, Molina seemed to have no defense for Archuleta’s right hand, which he hit Molina with often in the opening round without Molina coming close to blocking any of them with his gloves. Molina stalked Archuleta around the ring, looking to land big hooks.

Because Molina was loading up with many of his shots, he missed a lot in the round in his urgency to connect with something big. After being dominated for much of the round, Molina finally had some luck in the last 30 seconds of the 1st round when he was able to hit Archuleta with some big right hands and uppercuts to the head.

Molina ended the round with a hard left hook to the head as the bell sounded. In the 2nd round, Molina continued to stalk Archuleta around the ring, hammering him with big shots. However, Archuleta continued to fight it easy to land shots through Molina’s nonexistent defense. Finally, Molina trapped Archuleta against the ropes and knocked him down with a series of chopping combinations to the head.

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