Carlos Molina showed up to play his usual role of spoiler on the HBO undercard against James Kirkland. He was doing just that for the majority of ten rounds, using clinching to smother the pressure fighting of Kirkland and outlanding his foe. But the tenth round is all that matters in this bout as Molina was disqualified by referee Jon Schorle after being knocked down at the very end of the round and, after standing but during the standing eight count, Molina's corner entered the ring. The referee disqualified Molina for his corner's action which, while technically the letter of the law, the commission has advisers in the corners to tell the corners when they can and can not enter the ring.
Again, Molina showed up to fight a very smart fight. His ability to dictate timing as well as spacing and initiate clinches to throw Kirkland off his game was very impressive. While he probably did deserve some warnings and maybe even point deductions for the lengths to which he went to hold and trap Kirkland's arms throughout the fight, it was effective and had Kirkland befuddled for the majority of the fight.
Kirkland's desperation to try to make things happen before getting clinched led to him spending much of the fight trying to throw single shots, abandoning much of his body work and power combination work and getting further down.
The knockdown at the end of the tenth by Kirkland should have set up a great final two rounds, but instead Texas did it to us again.
To be clear, while I say that Molina appeared comfortably ahead on the cards, Gale Van Hoy did have Kirkland up by a point at the time of the stoppage. The other two judges did have Molina ahead, but at least in the case of Hoy, there were more assigned Texas officials on the job looking to do him wrong than just Schorle.
Kirkland isn't at fault for the DQ, that needs to be made clear. And, to his credit, he said he'd gladly give Molina a rematch. Molina also said he wanted to do it again and said as soon as possible works for him. Kirkland was trying to make things happen and scored the knockdown at the end of the fight, he was robbed (though not to the degree of Molina, obviously) of the chance to try to actually close the fight out.
With the win, Kirkland improves to 31-1 while Molina falls to 19-5.