Mexico outshines Cuba as Carlos Molina outworks Erislanda Lara

Referee Tony Weeks is shown raising the arms of both Erislanda Lara (left) and Carlos Molina (right) after their battle at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, NV, Friday evening.

On ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, Carlos Molina of Chicago, Illinois gave the jr. middleweight, sensation Erislanda Lara of Miami, Florida more than he had bargained for in the Chelsea Ballroom at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, NV. For whatever reason, Lara, (15-0-1), the undefeated, 27 year-old southpaw, came out flat in the early rounds and was unable to land his customary counters. What distressed his supporters was his seemingly unworried attitude and patience to wait for Molina (17-4-2) to slow down his frenetic pace. Molina, on the other hand, continued unfazed with hard shots to Lara’s midsection and showed no signs of slowing, even after Lara landed a couple good punches which included a hard straight left in the second round.

The fact Lara wasn’t as active as Molina did not go unnoticed by the crowd or judges scoring the bout. Before long you heard an occasional Cuban shout out his concerns while Lara’s trainer, Ronnie Shields, did the same in-between rounds. Catching a second wind, Lara heeded their concerns and performed much better in the final rounds.

Comments uttered by the ESPN boxing announcers summoned up the night:

Teddy Atlas: “When you’re looking for a knockout, the other guy gets plenty of chances to score.”

Joe Tessitore: “This is as much about what Lara isn’t tonight, as it is what Molina is.”

Judge Dick Houck scored the bout Molina 97-93 while judges C. J. Ross and Robert Hoyle had it even at 95-95. So, even though Lara maintains his unbeaten record, it’s Molina who won over the boxing fans for his willingness to trade blows.

As a result of their performances on Friday Night Fights, Molina, who originally hails from Patzcuaro, Michoacán de Ocampo, Mexico, has his career go on an upswing. While Lara returns home to Miami with his management team questioning his resolve. Was this a blimp on the radar or has he lost his desire to become a world champion? After all, he did leave the Cuban amateur boxing team back on July 22, 2007, just before his opportunity to represent Cuba in the 2008 Olympics, an Olympics in which he was projected to win the Gold Medal.


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