We’ve still got two more fights to go on tonight’s PBC on FS1 card, but I didn’t want what we’ve seen thus far to get lost in the shuffle after the fact.
In a fantastic junior welterweight battle, John Molina Jr returned after a year off and stopped Ivan Redkach in the fourth round, with both fighters coming off the canvas in what was a short, action-packed war where there was really no chance they were going to see the scheduled distance.
Molina (30-7, 24 KO) came out and took some shots, as he always does, but also like always, was prepared to give it back. He was down and hurt in the second round, but made it out of the frame, despite Redkach (20-4-1, 16 KO) pouring on some serious pressure.
Molina took control in the third round, and dropped Redkach on a massive shot, badly hurting him. Redkach barely made it to his feet, and was unsteady after he did, getting a small break in that his mouthpiece was out, and it gave him a couple extra seconds. Molina poured the pressure on and did all he could to get Redkach out before the bell, but Redkach, to his credit, fought back with his back against the ropes. Molina was still getting the better of things, but Redkach didn’t give the referee a chance to jump in.
That would come in the fourth round, when Molina teed off on Redkach and dropped him again. The referee stopped the fight immediately, with Redkach upset from his back, but it was a fair stoppage. Redkach was getting hammered, and even if he’d gotten up, his legs looked gone.
In the night’s opening bout, we had some controversy, and more than the usual judging madness. Wale Omotoso (27-3, 21 KO) won the decision in a close fight with Freddy Hernandez (34-9, 22 KO), and that decision was fair enough. BLH had it 95-95, with Hernandez taking the first half of the fight, and Omotoso the second half, split evenly. But Omotoso could easily have won the first round, so a 6-4 Omotoso card would have certainly been fair enough.
One judge had it 96-94 for Omotoso. Another had it 97-93, a hair wider than I can see, but OK. Then the third judge, Rudy Barragan, scored it 100-90 for Omotoso, which is simply not defensible. Even the TV broadcast, which was clearly in Omotoso’s favor from the get-go, gave Hernandez rounds two through five, which were clearly his.
The other controversy is that Hernandez thought it was an eight-round fight, and the bout sheet passed out earlier today reportedly had it as an eight-round fight, too. That’s a real problem. The TV graphics always had it as 10 rounds, but if the fighter was told it was eight rounds, that’s a real mess.