John Molina’s reign as a lightweight contender was perhaps not much more than a minute away from being over. But in the 10th and final round of a fight he was losing handily to Mickey Bey on Friday at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, a left hook by Molina put Bey in la-la land. Bey did not go down, but Molina rained several more blows down on Bey, and referee Vic Drakulich stopped the bout at 2:01 of the round.
Molina’s shocking, table-turning TKO victory gives him a record of 26-3-1 with 21 knockouts. He was behind big on all three scorecards – 90-81, 89-82, 88-83.
Molina, of Covina, had lost two of his past three fights. In one of them, he was stopped in the first round in a challenge to world champion Antonio DeMarco. The general feeling in boxing circles was that Molina, at 30, could not afford another loss so soon if he was going to get another shot at a title.
It was the first loss for Bey, 30, of Cleveland. He’s now 18-1-1. In Bey’s previous fight, he knocked out Robert Rodriguez in the third round in February at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. It was changed to a no-contest when Bey tested positive for elevated testosterone levels. He was fine and suspended three months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.