Carlos Molina has a chance on Saturday night to shake up the boxing world, as he seeks to hand Amir Khan his third straight loss in Los Angeles, in a Showtime-televised main event.
Molina (17-0-1, 7 KO) has been written off by most as a hand-picked, undersized opponent for Khan, a 27-year-old prospect taking a major leap in competition.
But Molina says that Team Khan will regret their choice of comeback opponent.
"He made a big mistake by picking me because nobody's seen the best of me yet," Molina told The Boxing Lab tonight. "I haven't shown the best of myself in any fights. I've never had this type of training before. I've always been a very confident fighter, but knowing all the work we put in -- I was training alongside Abner Mares, and he was pushing me also. I'm just so motivated. This fight is going to showcase the type of fighter I am, is going to showcase my skills. I feel I have a little more pop at this weight. He's going to feel my punches."
Molina expanded on going up to 140 for the first time as a serious competitor, and why he thinks it will help rather than hinder his chances in the fight.
"It's never easy to make 135 pounds, but being at 140, I think I'm going to make it comfortably. I'm looking at my body, and I'm seeing muscles pop out of places that haven't been there before," he said.
"My conditioning coach worked me hard. I see it and I feel it. My sparring partners are saying from the first day of camp until the end, you're ready. We're feeling your punches. They're telling me how hard I'm hitting and how fast I'm looking. We're ready to put on a great show."
Molina also feels that his hand speed will be able to match Khan's. "I think they're underestimating me. They picked the wrong guy. They saw the record, and said, this guy's coming up from lightweight. They don't know who I am yet. They're going to regret picking me. They're gonna see a fighter who's an explosive fighter. I can bang with him. I can box. I think he's going to be very surprised by the hand speed I bring to the ring."
As for what he expects from Khan, Molina does believe that Amir is going to try to change his style under new trainer Virgil Hunter, who is known as a defensive specialist. Khan has admitted following his TKO loss in July to Danny Garcia that he'd let defense slip away from his training, and that he'd become too offensive a fighter, allowing himself to get into exchanges more than he should.
"I expect him to be very patient in the early rounds," Molina said. "He's gonna be very defensive. I know he's going to be trying to use his jab a lot and keep me at distance. That's going to be his game plan in the beginning."
Molina believes that once he tags Khan, the "old" -- some would say "real" -- Amir Khan will emerge, to Khan's detriment. "Once I start landing those shots, I know he's going to go back to the same old Amir Khan. He's going to want to go into exchanges. That's when we'll jump on him."