September 8 Showdown in Oakland
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WBC Lightweight titlist Antonio DeMarco is set to square off against Covina, California challenger John Molina Jr. on September 8 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. This war of attrition has fans salivating in a battle that threatens to steal the show as the co-feature of the Andre Ward and Chad Dawson main event.
On Wednesday, the two prizefighters and their respective promoters and camps met face to face in front of a large crowd gathered at Sisley Italian Kitchen in Sherman Oaks. With sizzling temperatures hovering outside, I wondered if the foes would engage in heated trash talk, threats or any head games that often occurs at press conferences such as these.
But the talk was civil and respectful as the Mexican warriors took the stage along with promoters Dan Goossen and Gary Shaw. With their fight just four weeks away, both pugs looked lean and ready. Their clash next month will air on HBO and is presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions. DeMarco and Molina kept things fairly friendly, paying respect to each other during the event.
Toward the end of the day, they even shared some private banter. I watched them chat for a while trying to read their body language on who had the upper hand, if any. But they shook hands and kept things on the polite and friendly front. Then they busted out their best “Adrien Broner” moves. While the punching pair posed for the flash bulbs, they jokingly choked each other and then brushed their hair a la “The Problem” Broner.
On paper, this matchup has many calling it a “pick ‘em” fight. The defending champ DeMarco (27-2-1, 20 KOs) fought in March and is on a four-fight win streak after his defeat by the late Edwin Valero in 2010. The tough southpaw, 26, from Los Mochis scored a come-from-behind victory over Jorge Linares last year. Battered and bruised, he never gave up–capturing the exciting victory. You can count on him to bring the fire when he locks horns with Molina.
And Molina (24-1, 19 KOs) is on a six-fight winning streak after his lone defeat by Martin Honorio in 2009. Now back with trainer Joe Goossen, the 29-year-old is hungry for more–and has set his sights on snatching the green and gold WBC strap away from rival DeMarco. John’s last fight was in June and as past fights have proven, he will be just as aggressive as his opponent.
Who will prevail on September 8?
Will the Tijuana fighter successfully defend his belt against the Covina slugger promising to steal the championship belt?
Chatting with those at the presser, all voiced their opinion that this is one highly-anticipated brawl.
Some expect a bloody war in what should be a pulse-pounding scrap that may not go the distance.
It’s often said styles makes fights and in this action-packed duo, expect firepower. Their styles could be mirror images of each other, so when they collide look for an explosion inside the ropes.
In fact, word around the restaurant was that many think DeMarco-Molina could be similar to the infamous Diego Corrales–Jose Luis Castillo ring rivalry.
And it’s no coincidence that Molina Jr.’s trainer Joe Goossen also cornered the late Chico Corrales. If DeMarco-Molina both have their way, their feud may stand tall next to the Corrales-Castillo legendary matches.
Both fighters have no plans on losing.
“I fight for my family and the people of Mexico and this is going to be a great fight for the fans. John Molina is a tough fighter and it’s going to be a war, but I will die in the ring to keep my WBC title,” DeMarco stated.
Molina Jr. is also fighting for his family; he and wife, Neda, are expecting their very first child this November.
“This fight means the world to me. It’s what I’ve been dreaming about since I was 10 years old to win a world title,” affirmed John. “I’m going in there with nothing less than a victory! It’s safe to say the fight is not going the distance and it’s going to be a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate.”
FIGHT FANS: WHO DO YOU THINK WILL WIN?
It’s a guarantee that this will be a scorcher come September 8.
Photos by Michele Chong
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