LOS ANGELES, January 18, 2016 – Several members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team have gone on to have exciting professional careers in the ring, including Rau-shee Warren, Gary Russell Jr., Sadam Ali, Demetrius Andrade, and especially WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
Welterweight Javier Molina of Norwalk, California kept pace with his former teammates building a strong record and several knockout wins before injuries slowed his career down. Molina admits he didn’t help himself with undisciplined behavior outside the ring while waiting to heal.
Molina believes he’s back on track and has the chance to prove it in the main event for Premier Boxing Champions’ “Toe to Toe Tuesdays” event this Tuesday, January 19, at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. Coverage begins at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes.
Molina (17-1-0, 8 KOs) will face undefeated Jamal James (18-0-0, 8 KOs) of Minneapolis in a 10-round welterweight bout. The fight is Molina’s opportunity to prove he’s back to his peak form and put on a fan pleasing show.
Molina made his professional debut in the same venue, a second round TKO in 2009. He is part of a boxing family. Father Miguel fought several times professionally in Mexico; older brother Carlos briefly held a WBO lightweight title; and along with twin brother Oscar, Javier started boxing at a young age. Oscar has also been on the sidelines rehabbing injuries, and both brothers hope to return to action with a strong 2016.
In a recent video interview with Ringside Seat at the Wild Card West Gym in Santa Monica, Molina admitted it’s been frustrating to see his Olympic teammates achieving success while his career has stalled because of his injuries.
Molina was only 17 years old and the youngest member of the team when he went to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and feels he’s better able to handle the pressure and the spotlight at age 27, motivated by his family including his seven month old daughter, who was present at the Wild Card. He counts his father Miguel among his role models.
Molina says he’s feeling more motivated than ever, working with trainer Amulfo Bravo, his father Miguel and with the support of his brothers. Molina has also navigated changes with his promoter. Formerly with Goossen Promotions, Tom Brown has taken over since the death of Dan Goossen in September 2014, and the company is now known as TGB Promotions, associated with Premier Boxing Champions.
Molina is coming off a seventh round stoppage against Lenwood Dozier last October in Sheldon, Washington in his first appearance on the “Toe to Toe Tuesday” series. His opponent, Jamal James, is taller by five inches at 6-2, and had a strong 2015 with three victories including a tough decision over Juan Carlos Abreu of Argentina. This is James’ first fight as a professional in California. Molina says he has been sparring taller fighters and feels he’s improving, learning and in excellent physical condition.
This week’s T2T event kicks off a week of fight activities culminating in Saturday’s PBC on FOX primetime network event from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Undefeated Danny “Swift” Garcia (31-0, 18 KOs) and former world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero” (33-3-1, 18 KOs) offer a 12-round welterweight main event.
The co-main also features welterweights, undefeated Sergeant Sammy Vasquez (20-0, 14 KOs) against warrior Aron Martinez of East Los Angeles (20-4-1, 4 KOs). In addition, undefeated lightweight prospect Alejandro “El Charro:” Luna (19-0, 14 KOs) will meet Mexico’s Alan Herrera (34-7, 22 KOs) in a 10-round bout as part of a full night of undercard action featuring Southern California based fighters in front of their home town fans.
PBC’s Toe to Toe series on Tuesday nights fills the void left by the departure of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights,” featuring ambitious prospects and rising stars. The series has produced some surprisingly entertaining bouts, aided by a strong broadcast crew including host Kenny Brian, blow-by-blow announcer Gus Johnson, analyst and boxer Paulie Malignaggi and reporter Claudia Trejos. Boxers featured on past editions of T2T Tuesdays include Sammy Vasquez, Julian “J-Rock” Williams, Austin Trout, Javier Fortuna, Miguel Flores, Edwin Rodriguez, and Javier Molina’s brother Oscar Molina.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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