Pechanga hosts Friday Night Fights, the John Molina mauling of Robert Frankel

From the look in his eyes, John Molina (right) appears to be thinking, "I do not want to be around when this guy looks in the mirror." Photo: Jim Wyatt

After five action packed rounds of boxing at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, CA, the ringside doctor looked down at the multiple lacerations on Robert Frankel’s face and immediately recommended a stoppage. The game challenger, who had outboxed John Molina (23-1-0, 18 KOs) in the first couple rounds, was at this point getting battered.


The battered Robert Frankel may have reached the point in his career where he can't possibly go the distance against a top ranked boxer. Photo: Jim Wyatt

When the past scars opened up, Frankel’s face became like red meat, a baseball minus the leather cover. Each hard shot from Molina sliced and diced as if he were a Sushi Chef.

As early as Round #1, a cut opened over Frankel’s left eye. By the end of Round #3 his entire face had reddened. By the close of Round #5, the swollen right eye was restricting his vision. Frankel (28-11-1, 5 KOs) looked as if he had gone 15 rounds.

A warrior till the very end, Frankel and his corner protested the early stoppage.

A hopeful Mike Dallas Jr. awaits the judges' scores. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Also featured was the light welterweight showdown between Mauricio Herrera and Mike Dallas Jr. In what was described as a crossroad bout for both, Herrera was coming off an eight round unanimous decision over Cristian Favela in April and a hard-fought 12 round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Ruslan Provodnikov. Dallas was hoping to rebound after his first defeat January 28 against Josesito Lopez at the same venue.

If this action-packed match were compared to a horse race, you’d have to say Herrera was in the lead early and then as they entered the home stretch, Dallas pulled even and ran neck and neck toward the wire.

As mentioned Herrera got off to the better start by pressing the fight and landing more punches, while Dallas seemed content to counter with fewer punches, the majority of which were thrown to the head. At the end of Round #2, Dallas’ corner started pleading with their fighter, “Keep touching him, Mike!”

It took awhile but Dallas finally began to let his hands go and started landing the solid shots to Herrera’s head and then he’d immediately tie him up. In the eighth round, the Herrera backers got angry and started yelling for the referee to stop Dallas’ holding or at least penalize him a point.

With his glee full trainer at his side, Mauricio Herrera has his arm raised in victory by referee Jack Reiss. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Dallas’ strategy started to pay dividends as Herrera started to slowdown. At this point it appeared Dallas had finally turned the tables and it was he who was pressing the fight and scoring more while pinning Herrera against the ropes.

Judge Jack Young scored the bout 95-95, while judges Fritz Werner had it 98-92 and Alejandro Rochin 96-94 for the winner by majority decision Mauricio Herrera. Herrera improves to 18-1, 7 KOs. while Dallas drops to 17-2-1, 7 KOs.

Referee Jack Reiss (L) raises the arm of the victorious Ricardo Williams Jr. (R). Photo: Jim Wyatt

In an eight round welterweight bout, 30 year-old Ricardo “Slick Ricky” Williams Jr. (19-2-0,10 KOs), out-boxed the tough Russian Arman Ovsepyan (11-2-0, 9 KOs) to gain a split decision victory. Ovsepyan, whose face and somber demeanor reminds you of the heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko, delivered some wicked overhand rights that would normally put anyone on the canvass. Williams, a Silver Medalist in the 2000 Olympics, proved he has a great chin and withstood the leveraged punches of the Russian knockout artist.

After losing to Ricardo Williams Jr., Arman Ovsepyan (r) gets consoled by his dear friend Vahe Saruhan. Photo: jim Wyatt


Also on the undercard, Matthew Villanueva (6-0-0) of Palmdale, CA faced 29 year-old Ernie “The Gladiator” Marquez (9-8-1) of Fort Morgan, Colorado

In the third round of his bout with Matt Villaneuva, Ernie Marquez was struck in the lower abdomen and could not continue. Photo: Jim Wyatt

in a six round bantamweight bout. The fight was scored a third round Technical Draw after Villanueva hit the 5’5” Marquez with a low blow. Marquez, who may or may not have been faking injury, convinced the ringside physician that it was impossible for him to continue. Up to that point, Villanueva had the win in his pocket scoring with the big left hooks and hard shots to the stomach.

Matt Villanueva


While Hector "the Showman" Alatorre took the punishment he never lost his sense of humor. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Another bout that had fans scratching their heads was the six round affair between journeyman Hector Alatorre (16-16-0) facing a top welterweight prospect, Javier Molina (8-0-0). From the second round on, Alatorre, who at times could mix it up, began showboating as if he were the modern day version of Hector Macho Camacho. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every time Alatorre landed a punch, Molina gave him six to eight in return. His antics of directing Molina’s punches, “Punch me here!” and then tapping a part of his body continued for an entire round. The unanimous decision for Javier Molina came as no surprise. Since December 14, 2006, Alatorre’s record is 2 wins, 16 losses.

Javier Molina has his arm raised in victory after defeating Hector Alatorre. Photo: jim Wyatt


Vahe Saruhan has his arm raised in victory by referee Raul Caiz Jr. Photo: Jim Wyatt

In a super featherweight bout 20 year-olds Vahe Saruhanyan (2-0-0) of Los Angeles by way of Gyumri, Armenia faced Oscar Santana (1-1) of Pomona, CA. In this one Saruhanyan appeared to be the better tactician and after securing both the first and second rounds, he appeared to coast through the third and fourth rounds, acting more like a matador instead of a boxer, waiting for his taller opponent to throw a punch and then he’d counter. All three judges had Saruhanyan winning easily.

Oscar Santana (L) poses for a photo while awaiting the judges' scores. Photo: Jim Wyatt


Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas called the action for this ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” telecast.

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