Carlos Molina and Antwone Smith were the winners tonight on ESPN Friday Night Fights, easily defeating veteran former champs Cory Spinks and Jose Luis Castillo in Chicago.
Two knockdowns and a point deduction were just part of the troubles tonight for the faded Cory Spinks, who was routed in Chicago by hometown contender Carlos Molina in tonight's ESPN Friday Night Fights junior middleweight main event. Molina won on scores of . BLH scored it 119-106 for Molina.
Molina (21-5-2, 6 KO) faced almost no challenge tonight from Spinks (39-8, 11 KO), the former welterweight and junior middleweight champ whose physical skills looked just plain gone tonight, following a steady erosion over the last few years. Spinks was never a fan favorite outside of his native St. Louis, but once upon a time he was an effective if not exactly inspiring fighter. With his legs gone, the movement that helped him so much is gone, and his head movement wasn't there tonight, either.
At times, Molina was able to tee off on the 34-year-old Spinks, who had no answers. Spinks was deducted a point for holding, and was knocked down twice late in the fight. Molina is now in line for an IBF junior middleweight title shot. That belt will be on the line on February 23, when Cornelius Bundrage defends against Ishe Smith.
In the televised co-feature, Antwone Smith routinely defeated a game but very worn-out Jose Luis Castillo over ten rounds, winning on scores of 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92. There was a point deduction against Castillo for repeated low blows, but it appears the judges may have ignored that. BLH had it 98-91 for Smith.
Castillo (64-12-1, 55 KO) had his (very) modest three-fight win streak snapped by Smith (23-4-1, 12 KO) in a fight that never got the Chicago crowd engaged, as most of the audience appeared to be in attendance entirely for the off-TV heavyweight main event. Castillo's reflexes are just gone, and as a result, Smith was able to somewhat quietly dominate the fight, even though his punches lacked snap. Castillo did his best to work the body with his once-famous left hooks, but it just isn't there anymore. Even so, the 39-year-old Castillo should be expected to fight on.
Szpilka-Mollo results to be added at the conclusion of that fight.