Crawford vs. Molina official for December 10
By Eric Baldwin: It’s now official that WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (29-0, 20 KOs) will be defending his title next month against #2 WBC, #3 WBO John Molina Jr. (29-6, 23 KOs) on December 10 on HBO Championship Boxing in Crawford’s hometown at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
There will be a press conference this week on Thursday for Crawford’s promoters at Top Rank to announce the fight.
The December 10 date on HBO was the one that had previously belonged to IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, who had to pull off the date when his management was unable to put the fight together with WBA ‘regular’ middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs for the December 10 date. The two will still likely face each other, but it’ll be in the first quarter of 2017.
Crawford wouldn’t have fought for the remainder of 2016 if it hadn’t been for Golovkin pulling off the date. HBO didn’t have a date for him to fight. Top Rank wasn’t going to put Crawford in another pay-per-view event with him as the headliner again for the remainder of 2016.
The boxing public was less than pleased with the news of Crawford fighting Molina rather than another fighter in the 140lb division. The problem with Molina is he’s lost 3 out of his last 5 fights and 5 out of his last 10 fights. That’s not a great record.
The sanctioning bodies still have Molina ranked highly for some reason, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense. What makes even less sense is Molina being ranked above Humberto Soto, a fighter that easily beat him by a 10 round unanimous decision in 2010. The sanctioning bodies must have some reason why they have Molina ranked above Soto, but I can’t quite understand. Soto has won 8 out of his last 9 fights in the last four years of his career; whereas Molina has won 5 out of his last 10. It just shows you that the decision making on rankings is a confusing mess rather than being done in a logical manner.
Soto should be ranked well above Molina based on his win over him and his record in the last four years, and yet he’s ranked below him. It’s kind of sad, because the boxing public winds up seeing what will likely be a mismatch between Crawford and Molina on December 10 instead of a better fighter between Soto and Crawford.
Crawford wants to unify the titles at 140 before he moves up in weight to challenge for the belts at 147. It’s going to be hard for Crawford to unify the titles at 140 without his promoter Bob Arum throwing money at the other champions. They’re not likely going to agree to fight Crawford unless there’s a lot of money involved in a fight against him. With Crawford not being a pay-per-view attraction in the U.S, there’s no real reason why WBA champion Ricky Burns or IBF champion Eduard Troyanovsky should want to fight him. There’s no upside in taking a risky fight against a guy that moves and counter punches all night like Crawford does. It might be in Crawford’s best interest to forget about trying to unify all the belts at 140. He would do better to move up to 147 and try and go after the titles in that weight class. It’s probably going to take Crawford a while to win the titles at 147, and there’s no telling whether he has enough talent to beat guys like Errol Spence Jr. and Keith Thurman.
Those guys are a lot more powerful than the fighters that Crawford has been facing. When you get hit by Thurman and Spence, it can change the game. Crawford might not have the chin or the power to hang with Thurman and Spence. It’s better that he find that out sooner rather than later. Those guys are younger than Crawford by a couple of years, and will likely be better two or three years from now than they are now. It might take Crawford that long to finally unify all the titles in the 140lb division before he finally moves up to 147.
Molina has the punching power and the size to give Crawford problems, but he seems to struggle every time he’s matched against good fighters. Molina didn’t appear to even try to win in his loss to Adrien Broner. He wasn’t throwing punches, and looked like he had mentally quit by the 2nd round.
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