Two live underdogs coming to town to face Molina Jr. and Dallas Jr.

The Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, CA in association with ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” and Goossen Tutor Promotions are known for putting on exceptional fights. On June 24, they have a doosey planned.

In the 10 round main event, reigning WBC USNBC Lightweight Champion John Molina Jr (21-1, 17 KOs), from Covina, CA, will square off against Denver, CO tough guy Robert Frankel (28-10-1, 5 KOs).

The semi-main event, another 10 rounder, will feature Bakersfield, CA junior welterweight Mike Dallas, Jr (17-1-1, 7 KOs) battling Mauricio Herrera (17-1, 7 KOs), of Lake Elsinore, CA for the IBF North American Light Welterweight title. The Dallas-Herrera bout will be promoted in association with Thompson Boxing.


When last seen on ESPN2, John “The Hammer” Molina Jr overcame a huge deficit on the scorecards to score an impressive knockout victory over undefeated Hank Lundy to win his title back. At 2:18 of Round 11, the referee stepped in and waved an end to the bout as Lundy, ahead on all scorecards, was against the ropes after being hurt by a left hand, and taking punches.

“It’s kind of a unique situation for me,” the 28-year old Molina (ranked WBO #8, WBC # 10, WBA #11 and IBF #12) acknowledged. “I’m building a collection of junior title belts as I work towards becoming a world champion. With my belt on the line at Pechanga and my chance to move closer to a world title shot, you know I’ll be ready.”

In his 2008 unanimous decision victory over Bobby Pacquiao (l), the younger brother of Manny Pacquiao, Robert Frankel (r) won every round but two.

Robert “Red Hot” Frankel, 30, is an eight-year pro who has won seven of his last eight bouts. Most recently he stopped Adam Limon in the second round. Prior to that, he lost a hard-fought majority decision to former world champion David Diaz (35-3-1) in January. Over his busy career, Frankel has faced many quality opponents to include Lamont Peterson, David Torres, Henry Bruseles, Bobby Pacquiao and Dimitry Salita and at one time averaged seven fights a year until his life and career came to a screeching halt.

On June 4, 2009, Frankel was sentenced in Denver County Court to 10 years in prison after a plea bargain involving domestic abuse charges against his wife, who was several months pregnant at the time. Frankel was originally charged with false imprisonment, kidnapping, child abuse and second degree assault and ended up pleading guilty to second degree assault and kidnapping. After cooler heads prevailed, Frankel ended up spending one year in prison and now has his life back together.

According to his matchmaker/boxing trainer Steve Mestas, who arranged this fight against Molina Jr., all of Frankel’s troubles are behind him and he’s once again a model citizen. He’s been working very hard as a volunteer helping local youth.

When you consider Frankel’s career path it’s certainly an anomaly. Mestas and his group train boxers the old fashioned way at a no-nonsense gym on the corner of 20th and Curtis Streets inside a building that’s been around for over a hundred years. Locals call the Spartan like gym, “the House of Pain.”

Most likely that moniker came from Mr. Mestas who arranged Frankel’s first pro fight before he had even one amateur bout. According to Mestas, “In that first fight, he got his a– kicked. He learned a lot from that first fight. Nothing ever comes easy and nothing’s ever been handed to Frankel on a silver platter. And now he’s going to whip Molina’s a–. There’s nothing as dangerous as a boxer who’s paid his dues and come from where he’s been.”

“This fight against Molina in front of a national TV audience is a major opportunity for me,” said Frankel. “I know Molina will be the favorite, but I’m not coming all the way to Southern California to lose. I’ve seen him fight on TV several times and have identified some weaknesses in his game that I can exploit. My chances of pulling off an upset are Red Hot.”

Mike "The Silent Assassin" Dallas Jr.

In Mike “The Silent Assassin” Dallas Jr’s last outing on ESPN2 in January, he was stopped by Josesito Lopez in the seventh round for his first loss as a pro. He’s now seeking to get his career back on track with a win over another highly regarded boxer in Herrera, who is rated #11 by the IBF.

“I just want to come back strong,” explained the 24 year-old Dallas. “I don’t want to take any easy fights. I want to beat a really good opponent to get back in the mix. I’ve seen Herrera fight. He’s a tough kid. He’s got a lot of heart. It’s gonna be a good match, but I see myself coming out with the victory.”

Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera, who is seven years older than Dallas, has won his last four fights. Most recently, he won a one-sided decision over Cristian Favela. The only blemish on his record was a controversial split-decision loss to Mike Anchondo in December, 2009. One judge had him winning the fight 79-73, while the other two saw it 75-77 the other way. In the prior match, he bested Ruslan Provodnikov, an unanimous decision victory in Las Vegas on January 7. If you’ve ever seen Provodnikov fight, you’d have to agree he’s one tough Russian.

Mauricio "El Maestro" Herrera of Lake Elsinore

“This should be a great fight for the fans because we are so evenly matched and very active,” Herrera pointed out. “Pechanga is not far from my home, and I will be extra motivated to get the most out of my abilities in front of family and friends and a national TV audience.”

El Maestro stated he’s planning to conduct a boxing clinic.

Also slated to see action on the undercard is 2008 Olympian Javier Molina (6-0, 4 KOs) of Norwalk, CA.

Tickets prices: General Admission $35, VIP $50 and Ringside $70 are available at, or at the Pechanga Box Office daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., or by calling 1-877-2WIN. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. First bout is at 6:00 p.m.


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