The Bad Left Hook staff picks the winner for tomorrow night's Amir Khan vs Carlos Molina fight on Showtime.
Carlos Molina is a solid lightweight prospect. I like his technique and he's a pretty well rounded fighter. His defense, footwork, head movement, and overall punching arsenal are pretty good. But styles make fights. Molina may be able to overcome Khan's speed with timing but he won't be able to hit him hard enough to really turn things around. At best I think Molina can succeed in making Khan look bad. But his chances of out pointing Khan are pretty slim. He'll have to get inside on Khan and stay there, using any means necessary to do it while hoping the referee won't break the infighting up. Khan can't fight on the inside. He just can't. He's basically a professional amateur fighter.
Nonetheless I just don't think Molina has what it takes to get the job done. I see no advantages over Lamont Peterson and Lamont could barely get the job done against Khan. To make matters worse Molina lacks more experience than power. The old Khan would have his way with Molina. Molina's best hope is that Khan shows a lack of confidence in using the new techniques learned from trainer Virgil Hunter. And while I think that will play a factor, it should only be enough to lead Khan into winning by unanimous decision rather than (T)KO. Khan by unanimous decision.
California people tell me Molina is well-prepared and could win this thing. Maybe -- Khan's chin is shaky enough that anything can happen if someone lands square. But I've seen Molina a few times, and with respect to him, and not meaning to dump on the guy, I've never watched him fight and thought, "Here comes a future world title contender." California people also said Eloy Perez was a top 10 super featherweight. Hippies. I expect Khan's speed to be totally overwhelming for Molina. Khan TKO-5.
There are a lot of questions to be answered to be about the latest change in direction in Amir Khan's career. The problem is that it's as much a must-win fight as it is a no-win situation for him.
In terms of the old 'get well' match-up, this is as transparent an example as you'll see, but really whatever specific outcome ends up recorded between the Khan win by Sunday morning, there'll inevitably a case of 'so what?', and rightly so.
Beating Molina, an obscure, blown-up lightweight - albeit a likeable one, when held up against his counterpart here - proves nothing, and all that we'll likely see is that he'll do exactly that, just with a higher-held guard than last time out. What we won't find out with a Khan victory is how likely he is to get rocked again when in with a legit puncher at 140. This could turn out to be a less-than-impressive 'any win's a win'-style landslide decision, but realistically we should be spared the excuses. Khan TKO6.
There's a reason they have picked Carlos Molina as Khan's comeback opponent. He is smaller, slower, and simply just not that great. He isn't terrible or anything, but he is a step below and being brought in to lose.
Look for Khan to jab the bejesus out of Molina early on. Gradually, he will close the distance, and begin to land powershots. When that happens, it will only be a matter of time. Khan via late stoppage in a one-sided fight.
Having only seen Molina box the once, I'm not in the best position to judge him as a fighter. What I do know is that he's not a big puncher and is untested at world level, therefore, he seems to be the perfect opponent for Khan to look good against.
It'll be interesting to see what technical adjustments Khan has made since hiring a new trainer. A fight like this is perfect for Khan to try out new things, the real test of an improved style will come when he's up against a top fighter again, then we'll see whether or not Khan has made the improvement he needs to. This fight should be straightforward enough though, and I expect Khan to win via a mid rounds stoppage.
Final Tally: Amir Khan 5, Carlos Molina 0.