Rugged welterweight fighter John Molina Jr. (30-9, 24 KOs) has officially announcement his retirement from boxing, just a few days after his 8th round knockout loss to Josesito Lopez on Saturday night. Molina offered this statement to ESPN:
“There comes a time in every fighter’s career when he has to be honest with himself,” he told ESPN. “I must say it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to decide ... but I’m afraid this career has run its course. It’s now time for me to enjoy the time with my beautiful family.
“I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the fans, friends and family who have supported me throughout this 13-year career. I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to live my dreams and provide a great life for my family doing it.”
Molina, 36, has had a rough, tough career and was well known for bringing the action in his fights. In fact, I personally have never rated Molina’s boxing skills very highly, but he’s proved a lot of people wrong by making as far as he has, often with a flair for the dramatic. Molina was never really the slickest fighter, but boy could he take a punch and come back with some thunder. Really, his heart was always his greatest asset. I still remember watching Molina for the first time, almost 10 years ago, when he staged a late rally to beat Hank Lundy on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.
That fight in itself sort of proved to be a microcosm of Molina’s career, who could always be down big on points but often liable to turn everything around with a big punch. Molina would later go on to prove he was more than just a simple rugged brawler though, when he went up against an even more rugged brawler in Ruslan Provodnikov back in 2016.
Molina was thought to have been physically spent by that fight, but showed an entirely different dimension to his game, outboxing and outclassing the hard-hitting Provodnikov over the distance. That was arguably Molina’s most satisfying ‘I told you so’ moment of his career, and full credit to him for pulling off what most people didn’t think he was capable of at the time.
But that aside, Molina has lost 8 of his last 14 fights, with half of those coming by way of knockout. And with his latest stoppage loss coming to Josesito Lopez, who is also thought to be a shopworn fighter, this is perhaps a good time to walk away from the sport. Molina has already accomplished more than most expected of him, and he’s always conducted himself with pure class — both inside and outside of the ring. And in a sport like boxing, that certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed.
So we wish Molina well in his life after boxing, but he says we’ll still be sure to spot him at the fights.