John Molina Jr. beats Provodnikov, Vasyl Lomachenko KOs Roman Martinez

 

John Molina Jr.

John Molina Jr./Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

John Molina Jr. of Covina on Saturday had the biggest victory of his career when he won a 12-round unanimous decision over former world champion Ruslan Provodnikov of Russia in the junior welterweight main event at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y. Molina won by scores of 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111.

Molina, a powerful hitter known for getting into ring wars, boxed more than he ever has in securing the victory. His best friend was his left jab, with everything else working off it.

Afterward, Molina, 33, noted that he didn’t have much of an amateur career and that “I believe I’m getting ready to  hit my stride.”

Molina (29-6, 23 KOs)  was asked if he had any concern about the scorecards before they were read. His response spoke volumes.

“I think it was self-explanatory,” he said on the Showtime telecast. “A fighter knows when he won a fight in the ring. I won that fight.”

Provodnikov (25-5, 18 KOs) agreed.

“Today the decision was the right thing,” he said. “Molina won the fight. He was better tonight.”

Also Saturday, on HBO, Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs) of the Ukraine became the first fighter to win two world titles in his first seven fights when he knocked out Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-3-3, 17 KOs) of Puerto Rico in the fifth round at Madison Square Garden to take Martinez’s super featherweight championship.

A mean two-punch combination put Martinez on the canvas, time of the end coming at 1:09.

 

 

 

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Vasyl Lomachenko vows to ‘spoil’ Puerto Rican Day weekend for fans of Roman ‘Rocky’ Martinez

Vasyl Lomachenko/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

Vasyl Lomachenko of the Ukraine will be seeking history Saturday night when he moves up in weight and challenges Roman “Rocky” Martinez of Puerto for his super featherweight world title at Madison Square Garden (on HBO). If Lomachenko wins, he will have won his second world title in just his seventh fight. The record of two titles in eight fights is held by flyweight champion Naoya Inoue of Japan.

However, Martinez will be defending his belt on Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend, which is huge in New York City, so Lomachenko won’t be the only one filled with extra emotion.
With that said, Martinez couldn’t care less about what Lomachenko is trying to accomplish because looking good in front of his followers trumps everything else.

“I am only thinking about beating him,” Martinez said. “I don’t care if I stop his dreams or whatever. I just have in my mind that I have to beat him and to be ready to beat him. … I don’t care right now if he is thinking that he is going to make history or something like that.”

Similarly, Lomachenko has no problem trying to make Martinez look bad on his big night.

“I am going to spoil the Puerto Rican fans’ weekend,” Lomachenko said. “They will feel very let down.”

Lomachenko still holds the featherweight title he won in his record-tying third bout. If he takes Martinez’s belt at the higher weight, Lomachenko will have to decide which belt he wants to retain and defend. It’s likely he’d stay at super featherweight.

Lomachenko, 28, is 5-1 with three knockouts. Martinez, 33, is 29-2-3 with 17 knockouts.

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Vasyl Lomachenko didn’t recognize Orlando Salido before March 2014 fight

Vasyl Lomachenko/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

Vasyl Lomachenko is one of the finest Olympians in history, having won gold medals for Ukraine in both the 2008 and 2012 Games. Still, it was somewhat stunning to see him fight for a world title in his second pro bout.

Then-featherweight champion Orlando Salido of Mexico was Lomachenko’s obstacle in March 2014 in San Antonio. Another one arose at the weigh-in after Salido lost his belt on the scale when he weighed 128 1/4 pounds, 2 1/4 over the limit. That meant only Lomachenko could leave the ring with the title.

However, it also meant that the overweight Salido would enter the ring at 147 pounds, gaining 18 1/2 after the weigh-in. He was 11 pounds heavier than Lomachenko on fight night.

The result was a split-decision loss for Lomachenko. Interestingly, he said that when he saw Salido in the ring before the bell, he couldn’t believe his eyes.

“When he came in the ring and took his t-shirt off, it looked like a different person in front of me than the person I saw at the weigh-in,” Lomachenko said this week. “There was a completely different person in front of me.”

The difference was apparent.

“Did I feel his weight in the ring?” Lomachenko said. “Yes, I did feel his weight when I was fighting him, but I cannot blame it on the weight or anything. I was prepared for him to come heavier in the ring. But I still had to fight – I had to do what I had to do.”

Lomachenko (5-1, 3 KOs) won a featherweight title in his next bout with a majority decision over Gary Russell Jr. in June 2014 at StubHub Center. He has made three defenses and will move up in weight June 11 to challenge Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-3, 17 KOs) of Puerto Rico for his super featherweight belt at Madison Square Garden (on HBO).

Salido (43-13-3, 30 KOs) on Saturday will challenge countryman Francisco Vargas (23-0-1, 17 KOs) for his super featherweight title at StubHub (on HBO).

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Orlando Salido looking forward to his shot at ‘prestigious WBC belt’

Orlando Salido, right, and, Vasyl Lomachenko, left, trade punches in a 12-round featherweight title bout on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in San Antonio. Salido won by split decision. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Orlando Salido, right, trades punches with Vasyl Lomachenko during their featherweight title fight in March 2014 in San Antonio. Salido won a split-decision/AP photo by Eric Gay

 

Orlando Salido of Mexico has held the WBO and IBF featherweight world titles, but he has never had a WBC title, which is a favorite among Mexican fighters because of its long history and because the organization is based in Mexico. City.

Salido will have the chance to realize his dream when he challenges countryman Francisco Vargas for his WBC super featherweight belt on June 4 at StubHub Center in Carson (on HBO).

“I am very anxious to get in the ring and very motivated that I will face a great champion and fight for the prestigious WBC belt, a championship that I have dreamed of fighting for since I was 12 years old and saw my idol Julio Cesar Chavez wear it with pride and honor,” Salido said this week from his training camp in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico.

Vargas is 23-0-1 with 17 knockouts. Salido is 43-13-3 with 30 knockouts. He also has held an interim WBO super featherweight belt.

 

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Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero, Yoshihiro Kamegai make weight for Saturday’s fight

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Photo by Gene Blevins – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (pictured left) and Yoshihiro Kamegai on Friday both made weight for their welterweight showdown Saturday at StubHub Center

Weighing in at the DoubleTree Hotel in Carson, Guerrero weighed in at 146 pounds, a pound under the 147-pound limit. Kamegai came in at 146.8 pounds.

The semi-main event fighters also made weight. Gary Russell Jr. and Vasyl Lomachenko both weighed 125.4 pounds for their featherweight world-tltle fight; the limit is 126.

Showtime will televise both bouts on the Golden Boy Promotions card.

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Vasyl Lomachenko, two-time gold-medal winner, to make debut at 10 rounds

Even when a boxer does very well as an amateur, he typically begins his pro career with four-round fights. Not Vasyl Lomachenko of the Ukraine.

Lomachenko won gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Games at featherweight and 2012 London Games at lightweight. Not only is he going to open with a 10-round featherweight bout, he is going to take on Jonathan Oquendo of Puerto Rico on the undercard of the Oct. 12 welterweight title fight between Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez at Thomas & Mack Center (on HBO pay-per-view).

Oquendo wonders about this move by Lomachenko.

“Lomachenko must have a lot of confidence making his professional debut against a fighter like me,” said Oquendo, 30. “He must think he’s really good. Let’s see what happens in the ring.”

Tickets remain for the Top Rank Inc. card. They are priced at $50, $100, $200, $300, $400, $600 and $800. They can be purchased by going online at www.unlvtickets.com or by calling 702-739-3267.

           

 

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