Lyford boxer, Eric Molina, to fight for WBC title in Las Vegas
Eric Molina, a heavyweight boxer from Lyford who is with Don King Promotions, will fight in the co-main event of a card to be held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas this Saturday. Molina (17-1, 14 knock-outs) will step into the ring against Warren Browning ( 14- 1, nine knockouts) of London, Kentucky with the World Boxing Council United States title on the line. The 12- round match may be aired on Showtime at 9 p.m.
Currently weighing 235 pounds and standing 6’-5” tall, Molina previously knocked out Joseph Rabotte in six rounds in his last fight held at the MGM Grand in March. Scheduled to fly out to Vegas on Tuesday, Molina’s camp was ready to begin dissecting film on Browning.
“We’re going to watch some videos of Warren when we get to Vegas tomorrow,” Molina said on Monday. “My trainer (Al Bonani) has basically focused on refining my style of fighting up to this point. I am not going to adapt to Warren, but instead make him adapt to me. I am the bigger guy in the fight so we’re working on me using my legs to stay on the outside and fighting tough.”
Winning the WBC U.S. title would open big doors for Molina.
“I am currently ranked twelfth in the world and winning this belt should secure us a top ten spot,” Molina said. “The guy who previously held this title is now a mandatory challenger in a fight against one of the Klitschko brothers. Holding this belt brings big opportunities with it, it sets you up for world title contention because now you’re in the top ten.”
Putting together his impressive career record has brought Molina to the mecca of his sport.
“I have fought at the McAllen Convention Center, State Farm Arena, Casa de Amistad in Harlingen and we have always had a huge response from those crowds,” Molina said. “It is definitely different now that we are fighting in Las Vegas in the co-main event in front of a lot of people who don’t know me. But the biggest thing for me is just to stay focused and stick to the game plan, not think about who is there or watching, just think about winning the fight.”
Molina is confident he will be able to handle anything Browning throws at him.
“I know how to counter, so I will be waiting for Warren to make a mistake, then I will hurt him,” Molina said. “I don’t think he has what it takes to put me on my back, I feel good about what I bring to this fight.”
One of Molina’s biggest in-ring lessons came at his first ever pro bout, four years ago, which he lost by stoppage.
“I would honestly have to say I was unpr-epared,” Molina said. “Coming back home afterwards, I really began taking this profession seriously knowing that I did not want to go out like that. So I started training like a truly dedicated professional and took it fight by fight. Many other people would have quit after getting stopped, but I kept on going and am now fighting in the biggest match of my career on one of the biggest arenas possible.”
The valley fighter has even bigger dreams envisioned.
“My ultimate goal is to win a world title,” Molina said. “There has never been a Mexican-American to win a world title. There are a lot of great fighters from here in the valley, but never a heavyweight prospect in general.”
Spending the past four weeks in Miami sparring against former world champion Oliver McCall, Molina is concerned that people in the South Texas valley are unaware of his upcoming title shot.
“ I represent Willacy County, South Texas and my Mexican-American ethnicity every time I fight,” Molina said. “ I just want everyone in Willacy County to know that when I enter that ring on Saturday, everyone who has ever supported me and is in my heart is going in there with me. We’re all going into this fight together.”