September 26th, 2009 was a big day for boxing fans in Los Angeles as they packed the Staples Center to witness a real heavyweight championship fight between Vitali Klitschko and Chris Arreola. Despite Arreola’s best efforts, he took a one sided beating which was mercifully stopped by his trainer and friend Henry Ramirez after ten rounds. But that was not the only fight that night.
The guy that did not get much ink that evening was a local lightweight prospect John Molina. It took Molina (18-0,14KO’S) only thirty four seconds to annihilate his opponent, a seasoned veteran from Mexico City, Mexico, Efren Hinojosa (3-7-1,17KO). Molina landed a perfectly placed right hook to the body that promptly ended the fight. John John Molina looked nothing short of spectacular. “I went after him,” Molina said afterward. “I think I broke his rib . . . once I saw that look in his eyes, I went after him and he was done. Believe me; I hit him with some good shots.”
Twenty six year old prospect out of Covina has been quietly moving up the rankings in a talent rich lightweight division. Insiders in Southern California gym circles predict a bright future for tall and lanky young man. Promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions, John has a benefit of training with one of the best boxing coaches in the business, Joe Goossen.
Aside from having a great team behind him, Molina has two things that will help him to excel rapidly; hunger and complete dedication to the sport. Every time I visit Joe Goossen’s gym, John John is there practicing his craft, working his drills, carefully listening to the instructions of his coach.
Wednesday afternoon after having an early lunch meeting in Van Nuys, I decided to pop in and check out the action at Joe Goossen’s gym. Non- descript spot, a store front, very easy to miss, a block away from Van Nuys court house, Joe’s gym is all about business. The first guy I see is John Molina destroying a speed bag. Always friendly, Molina gives me a high five and a smile and continues to assault the speed bag. Molina does not require encouragement to train, he knows it is his job and he works hard, even though he does not have a fight scheduled.
The next pug I see in the gym does have a fight scheduled and the way he is hitting a heavy bag reminds me of Rocky in the meat freezer. Heavy handed Colombian banger Edison Miranda is the latest addition to the stable of fighters guided by Joe Goossen. Miranda (32-4,28 KO’S) is headlining an exciting event this Thursday at the Tachi Palace in Lemoore, California when he faces a Mexican Francisco Sierra (20-2,19KO’S) in a twelve round battle for the vacant WBO NABO super middleweight title. Francisco Panchito Sierra has knocked out 19 out of twenty opponents that he beat. Miranda is not known for his defensive wizardry either. So expect spectacular fireworks.
Best known for braking Arthur Abraham’s jaw in their first middleweight title bout, Miranda has hit a few stumbling blocks in his career. After loosing last fight on points to an Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward in Oakland, California, Miranda decided that if he is to excel further in the elite level of the sweet science he needs to improve on his technique. Twenty eight year old Miranda took his show on the road and moved to sunny Southern California to learn from Joe Goossen. No English, no problems; boxing has a universal language. Edison seems very eager to soak up the knowledge and train at full speed. Joe Goossen told me that he likes the attitude of his new charge and his receptiveness to suggestions. Add a few wrinkles on top of Miranda’s god given power and who knows how far this young man could go. Pantera is excited to be back in the ring and to show us a few new tricks.
One guy that I really wanted to see but missed was a heavyweight Malik Scott. Twenty nine year old Philadelphia fighter is undefeated in 32 bouts with eleven by a knock out. He is pegged by the boxing gym insiders as the next American heavyweight star. At 6foot 4 inches tall this young man has all the skills, but his career has been hindered by injuries and opponents pulling out of fights. Scheduled to fight ex heavyweight title challenger, Tony “The Tiger” Thompson this Thursday, Malik was very excited about a big opportunity to showcase his talent against a name opponent. Few weeks ago Thompson pulled out of the fight due to injury and promoters are still struggling to find a viable opponent for Scott. However his appearance on Thursday night card might be in jeopardy all together, because the reason that he was not in the gym was that he hurt his right hand in training few days ago. Stay tuned for further developments.