Welterweight prospect Javier Molina hopes to put his hand-injury woes behind him, get on a roll and move toward a title fight as he steps up his opposition. Kendall Holt, meantime, is trying to hang on to the remnants of his career.
So it will make for an interesting crossroads fight when they meet Jan. 24 at the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Wash., on Jan. 24 (ESPN2).
"This is a great opportunity for me, and I believe I'm up for the challenge," said Molina.
Said Holt, “Molina hasn't been where I've been, and I intend to remind him this is the big leagues when he steps in the ring with me.”
Molina (14-1, 6 KOs), of Norwalk, Calif., is a 2008 U.S. Olympian who has moved a bit slowly because of injuries, but he is only 23 so there is plenty of time for him. He has won five fights in a row since an eight-round decision loss to Artemio Reyes in 2011.
Holt (28-6, 16 KOs), 32, of Paterson, N.J., is a former junior welterweight titlist who has seen better days but is trying to hang on. He has not fought much lately, just once in 2013 and once in 2012; he is 1-2 in his last three fights, with the losses coming by decision to Danny Garcia (before Garcia won a world title) and by eighth-round knockout to Lamont Peterson in a February world title fight. Now Holt is moving up to welterweight.
"The main event is a major step up for Javier Molina and, for Kendall Holt, it's a do-or-die bout,” promoter Dan Goossen said, accurately outlining the stakes. “For Molina, it's an opportunity to take another step toward a world ranking, and for Holt, it's a chance to re-establish himself as a world-class fighter. The fight will have a lasting impact on both men: one fighter trying to record the biggest win of his career, the other fighting to stay relevant. All the makings of a great fight.”
The co-feature is a scheduled 10-round featherweight fight between former junior featherweight titlist Rico Ramos (22-3, 12 KOs) and Jonathan Arrellano (14-2-2, 3 KOs), both Southern California fighters.