Kelly (5-0, 4 KO) has been impressive thus far as a professional, and the former Olympian is making a smart and strategic move here. A win over someone like Molina (28-8-2, 8 KO) would be very valuable at this stage of Kelly’s career, coming in his sixth pro fight, and the 34-year-old veteran Molina is also looking vulnerable.
Last year, Molina went 0-2, losing to Carlos Adames and Ahmed El Mousaoui, both road fights in the Dominican Republic and France, respectively.
Molina held the IBF junior middleweight title in 2013-14, beating Ishe Smith in September 2013, losing in his first title defense 13 months later against Cornelius Bundrage.
After that, Molina attempted a move down in weight, fighting at both 147 and even 140 in Mexico, but pretty much falling off the radar at the world level. At his best, he was a tricky opponent for anyone, including a 2011 draw against Erislandy Lara where Lara was probably luckier than Molina to not leave with a loss.
Kelly-Molina will be a welterweight fight, with the two fighting for a minor and vacant WBA trinket.