2008 Olympian Ready for ShoBox Clash
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Javier Molina is a 2008 U.S. Olympian who competed in the Olympic Games in Beijing. While on the biggest platform in the world, the fresh faced young boxer brushed shoulders with the brightest athletes in the universe.
As a professional prizefighter under the Goossen Tutor banner, Javier has a perfect record of nine victories in his nine fights. He’s already traveled the world as an amateur standout.
But this week, the Norwalk puncher will do three things he’s never done before.
Set to square off this Friday night, October 28 against fellow Southern California welterweight Artemio Reyes Jr. (13-1, 11 KOs), Molina (9-0, 4 KOs) told me during our interview yesterday about the trio of “firsts: for him. This will be the very first time he’s fighting on Showtime‘s ShoBox “The New Generation” broadcast, the very first time he’ll step foot in Atlantic City, New Jersey where the clash will take place at Bally’s on the famed boardwalk AND this will be his very first fight at a scheduled eight rounds.
Leaving the sunny temps of Los Angeles for the cooler climate of the east coast, an enthusiastic Molina was very relaxed but also very excited just a day before his trip to AC.
After first lacing up at seven years old, he had his first amateur bout at age nine. The SoCal pugilist comes from a boxing family. His father used to box, his older brother Carlos Molina is also an unbeaten pro who’s scheduled to fight in a couple of months and Javier has a twin brother, Oscar Molina, who is currently fighting amateur in Mexico.
A pro since 2009, Javier was beset by a hand injury but since then has stayed busy of late. Trained by Maywood’s Clemente Medina and managed by Arnulfo Bravo, this likable young man is poised for stardom. On the brink of hopefully becoming a household name, Javi plans on adding another victory this Friday night.
Just 21 years old, Molina is already a calm veteran of the fight game. Known for his classic boxing style, the Mexican warrior has already been fighting for two-thirds of his life. He’s a natural in the sport and a talent people take notice of. This Friday his bout versus Reyes Jr. will be the co-main along with the Brandon Gonzales vs. Ossie Duran matchup.
For those in Southern Cali boxing circles and beyond, this sizzling affair between Molina and Reyes has garnered a lot of attention. Artemio is known for his come-forward aggression, power and determination and is promising a war against the boxer with the Olympic pedigree. His foe Molina says he plans on being the victorious one come Friday night.
Listen in on my conversation with Javier Molina, who with his wholesome good looks, upbeat personality and easy sense of humor has endeared himself to local fight fans in the area and beyond. Find out if he’s seen the video where his challenger Reyes predicts a knockout, learn which sport his Goossen Tutor stablemate Shawn Estrada beat him at and hear his own predictions for the highly-anticipated scrap in NJ!
Michele Chong: Hi Javi! Thanks for taking time to talk. I know it’s a super busy time for you right now. Your brother Oscar’s fighting in the Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, right?
Javier Molina: Yeah, he’s gonna fight again tomorrow (Wednesday) in the semis! My manager Bravo went to see him. I was supposed to go but it didn’t work out this time. He’ll fight Canada tomorrow and the winner of of Brazil and Cuba on Saturday.
MC: Oscar’s the “older” twin?
JM: (Laughs) Well he’s my twin brother who’s two minutes older than me! That’s it, just two minutes. (Laughs)
MC: Congrats on your upcoming fight on ShoBox. With your Olympic experience, do you feel your opponent Artemio Reyes is the underdog in the bout?
JM: Oh definitely. In my eyes, I’m the favorite since I’ve been in there forever and I’m real confident in my skills. I’ve seen Artemio fight and he’s kind of one dimensional who likes to come forward, a tough fighter. But with my experience I’m gonna be able to move around and just outwork him. I’m real comfortable in this fight; I know he’s a tough fighter but I’m confident in my skills and I know what I can do in there!
MC: Have you watched a lot of his tapes of his fights? And have you seen the video by the Koncrete Jungle crew where Artemio predicts he’s gonna knock you out?
JM: Yeah. (Laughs) I’ve seen a couple of the videos. I know that’s what he says but a lot of people have said that. It doesn’t get to me. And the only reason I’ve seen the video where he predicts that is ’cause everyone keeps telling me, “Hey, have you seen the video?!” (Laughs) And I said, “What do you mean? What are you talking about?” So then I seen it but it just makes the fight more exciting!
MC: So in your scheduled eight rounds, what can fans expect in this showdown?
JM: For me, I’m gonna go out there and go to work; I’m gonna be working a lot. I’m gonna use my legs, use my jabs, put everything together I’ve been working on in the gym, do what I know in how to get him.
MC: Your Maywood gym is packed with champs and contenders. Does all that talent and competition in one place spur you on for even greater success?
JM: Definitely! And anytime I need work I always have a good work rate there. Sparring has been real good and everything’s coming together.
MC: Who did you spar with?
JM: I sparred with Freddy Hernandez, who just beat (Luis) Collazo and I sparred a lot of other guys there to try and get the rounds in.
MC: You’re heading out to Atlantic City tomorrow. Do you have a lot of your family and friends going?
JM: My brother Carlos, my coach, and a couple of cousins and others are going. My dad is in Mexico right now for my other brother’s fight.
MC: Your father is always at all of your guys’ fights. He’s a great support system, isn’t he?
JM: Yes, he is. My dad used to box when he was younger. He didn’t really train us but he’s ALWAYS been in the corner with us and supporting all of us!
MC: Let’s give your dad a shout out! Is his name Carlos Molina Sr.?
JM: (Laughs) No, his name is Miguel Molina. (Laughs)
MC: Oh that’s funny, good thing I asked. (Laughs)
JM: That is funny. Yeah, everyone would be like, “Who’s Carlos Molina Sr.?”
MC: So in regards to the fight you’re 9 and 0 and Reyes is 13 and 1 with one loss to Mike Dallas. On paper, do you feel this is your toughest challenge so far?
JM: On paper, yes. I’ve fought a couple of other people that were tough that liked to come forward. I think Artemio is one of the toughest opponents in the pros that I’ll face. But I’m ready for what he has and I’m not too worried…AND I’m excited to go in there and put on a show!
MC: With respect to Reyes, if you do get past him who are you and your team possibly looking at in the future?
JM: Well right now, we’re just thinking of getting past Artemio. We haven’t really talked about anyone else yet. But if everything goes well, there was talk of me fighting again in December.
MC: Also, I know a lot of young amateurs look up to you. Now that you’ve been a pro for the last couple of years, what was the biggest transition for you as a professional?
JM: It’s settling down more and going more and more rounds, thinking a lot more and not just throwing as many punches as I can. Being smart in the ring and keep working since it’s not just three or four rounds like in the amateurs anymore.
MC: Any advice for the upcoming 2012 Olympic boxers?
JM: For 2012, just go in there and do your best! Take advantage of the opportunity and the experience of the Opening Ceremonies. Just enjoy EVERY moment. It was a dream come true for me walking out with everyone, walking out with Kobe Bryant! Take full advantage of the opportunity–it doesn’t happen very often.
MC: And your brother is fighting to make the Olympic team too?
JM: Yeah! Oscar will be fighting in Brazil to try and qualify with the Mexican team for the Olympics. I’m definitely gonna be out there and support him. He wants to get another shot at making the Olympic team before he goes pro. Right now he lives in the Olympic Training Center in Mexico City; he’s been out there for a while now.
MC: Also, you’ve been boxing since you were a kid. But away from the ring, I hear you’re also golfing and surfing?
JM: (Laughs) I’m not that great yet at them, I’m not up there yet but I like doing them. I started going golfing with Bravo (my manager) and Bravo’s actually really good! So I started going with them and I lost to Shawn (Estrada)! (Laughs) It was kind of embarrassing. But I always wanted to try surfing too. So I went with my brother and friends and it’s fun. I like doing different things, baseball, basketball, and just staying active.
MC: Well we know boxing is your #1 sport. One last question before you go pack for your trip, any message for your fans?
JM: I want to thank everyone for all their support! I’m looking forward to it and excited for this fight–and I’m gonna give it my all. I won’t let anybody down–thanks for all the support. I am going to come out victorious.
MC: Thank you, Javi and have fun in Atlantic City!
JM: Thanks, Michele!
Catch the Javier Molina vs. Artemio Reyes Jr. in their war of welters Friday on ShoBox.
May the best man win.
Photo by Michele Chong/ Additional photos courtesy of Team Molina/El Bravo
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