Terence Crawford vs. John Molina Jr – Official Weights
By Chris Williams: WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (29-0, 20 KOs) weighed in successfully on Friday in coming in 139.6 pounds for his title defense against an emaciated looking challenger John Molina Jr. (29-6, 23 KOs) at the CenturyLink Arena in Omaha, Nebraska. The Crawford-Molina fight will be televised on HBO Championship Boxing.
Also being televised by HBO on the same night is heavyweights Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz Jr. fighting for the vacant WBO heavyweight title. That fight will be taking place at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.
Where will the Crawford vs. Molina fight be taking place: At the CenturyLink Arena in Omaha, Nebraska
Where to watch the Crawford-Molina fight? The TV broadcast of the fight will be on HBO Championship Boxing.
When does it start? On Saturday, December 10 at 9:35 p.m. ET/6:35 p.m. PT.
However, the 33-year-old Molina Jr. came in four pounds over the light welterweight limit for the fight in coming in at 144 pounds. He has two hours to take off the weight. It’s going to be really interesting to see if Molina Jr. can take the weight off, because he looked almost sickly and badly drained. With Molina Jr. having very little chance of winning the fight to begin with, I don’t know if it’s even worth it for him to take the weight off unless there’s a huge weight penalty in the contract.
When asked what his views are on Molina Jr. coming in over the limit, Crawford said, “He’s the one that’s got to lose it, not me.”
Crawford will likely put on a huge amount of weight by the time he enters the ring on Saturday night.
It’s definitely bad news that Molina came in four pounds’ overweight. Two pounds wouldn’t be a big deal for Molina Jr. to take off, but four pounds? That’s a TON of weight, and there’s no way that you can take that much weight off and not have I negatively impact your performance.
What’s unclear is how Molina could have been that heavy. What went wrong during training camp for him to be still so heavy? Did Molina plan to be heavy like this from the start or did something go wrong during the last part of the training? Whatever the case, Molina is going to have major problems when he gets inside the ring with Crawford tomorrow night. It’s not as if Molina’s career is going well anyway. Molina has lost 3 out of his last 5 fights. He’s ranked #1 WBA, #2 WBO, and #3 WBC at 140.
Molina’s recent 12 round unanimous decision win over Ruslan Provodnikov last June is obviously the sole reason why he’s ranked so highly in the light welterweight division, because normally fighters with as many defeats as Molina has suffered in his last five fights aren’t ranked highly. Losing 3 out of his last 5 fights should mean a bottom 15 ranking for Molina instead of a top two, but this is boxing and its very strange sometimes how struggling fighters are given high rankings despite them failing to produce.
It’s good news for Crawford that Molina is having problems making weight, because it’ll make his fight that much easier. Crawford is saying he believes he should be 2016 ‘Fighter of the Year’ if he beats John Molina Jr. (29-6, 23 KOs) this Saturday night on HBO. Crawford is in a position where he’s not likely to get the award, because he’s got to beat out fellow Top Rank fighter Vasyl Lomachenko, who put together two big wins in 2016 in beating Nicholas Walters and Roman “Rocky” Martinez by knockouts.
It’s going to be hard for Crawford to win the ‘Fighter of the Year’ award this year, because his two fights thus far have come against fringe contender Hank Lundy and WBO light welterweight champion Viktor Postol. Beating Lundy is no big deal, because he’s been beaten over and over again during his career. You kind of have to ignore that fight entirely when picking the ‘Fighter of the Year’ award for 2016.
Crawford did not really impress against Postol, because he didn’t try for the knockout despite knocking the Ukrainian fighter down twice in round 5. The boxing fans saw Crawford running out the close in the 12th round by moving laterally around the ring while sticking out his tongue at Postol, who was chasing after him. It was not how you would like to see a potential ‘Fighter of the Year’ conducting himself.
If this were middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, he would have been trying to take Postol’s head off at the shoulders in the 12th round to get a knockout. Golovkin would not be running from Postol trying to stall out the fight. For that reason, it’s very, very difficult to pick Crawford as the ‘Fighter of the Year’ for 2016. I personally don’t have Crawford even in the running for the Fighter of the Year. Maybe next year if Crawford fights some good opposition and he looks to entertain rather than run out the clock, I might want to pick him as ‘Fighter of the Year.’
“If I win Saturday night I should be considered fighter of the year,” Crawford said via ESPN.com. “I did a number on Hank Lundy, the kind that nobody else was able to do. I unified the title against Postol, a guy everybody said was almost as good as I was. I am an undefeated champion and was fighting a guy [Postol] coming off a knockout win against [Lucas] Matthysse and I totally dominated him. Now I’m fighting another guy coming off an impressive win, a No. 1 contender, and a win over him should convince people that I am fighter of the year.”
What Crawford fails to point out is that Ruslan Provodnikov, the guy that Molina Jr. recently beat this year, had been recently beaten badly by Lucas Matthysse. That loss that Provodnikov suffered to Matthysse seemed to take a lot out of him. Molina Jr. then fought an arguably softened up Provodnikov and got the win over him. I don’t think for a second that Molina Jr. would have beaten Provodnikov before his loss to Matthysse.
If Crawford is selected as the ‘Fighter of the Year’ for 2016, then that doesn’t say much for the guys that select that award. I could see Golovkin or Lomachenko getting the award, because they put in some effort to get knockouts and to entertain. But I didn’t see that with Crawford, and I’m not impressed with his opposition either.
Beating Lundy and Molina is meaningless, because those aren’t good enough fighters to be given the award. Molina has beaten four times in the last three years. That’s a lot. None of those fighters that beat Molina were given the ‘Fighter of the Year’ award in those years. Since they didn’t get the award, I don’t see Crawford deserving the ‘Fighter of the Year’ award for beating Molina.
What Crawford could earn by beating Molina Jr. is a possible fight against Manny Pacquiao. Their promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank would like to match Pacquiao and Crawford together next year in an all-Top Rank fight on PPV. Some boxing fans believe that Arum wants/needs Crawford to win that fight over Pacquiao so that he has a successor to Pacquiao as Top Rank’s next PPV money fighter to carry on bringing in PPV money to the company.
With Pacquiao close to permanent retirement, there’s no replacement for him with Top Rank. If Crawford can take Pacquiao’s aging scalp, then there’s a chance that Crawford can become the next PPV attraction for Top Rank. Personally, I don’t see it happening. You can’t make a fighter a PPV attraction by shoving them down the throats of the boxing fans by matching him against aging fighters like Pacquiao or against vulnerable fighters like Postol, Lundy and Molina Jr.
They’ve got to have an exciting fighting style, which usually involves aggression, power, speed and talent. It also helps for them to have charisma. Does Crawford have all of those things going for him to become Top Rank’s next PPV fighter? No, I don’t think he does. Arum can certainly try sticking Crawford on PPV, but I don’t see him ever becoming a PPV guy.
If a fighter as exciting as Golovkin hasn’t been able to become a PPV attraction despite being a very exciting guy, then I don’t see the counter-punching, switch-hitting Crawford ever becoming a PPV guy. What Arum should do instead of matching Crawford against Pacquiao is letting the Filipino fighter take on guys he can defeat. In other words, Arum should keep feeding Pacquiao Tim Bradley and Jessie Vargas type fighters. As for Crawford, Arum should have him fight whoever he can find. I think Crawford’s best bet in getting big money fights is if he’s willing to fight middleweights like Golovkin or Saul Canelo Alvarez. I don’t see Crawford getting fights against the top 140, 147 or 154 pound guys.
Whatever chance Molina had of beating Crawford on Saturday night probably went out the window with him coming in four pounds over the limit and looking emaciated and tired at the weigh-in.
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