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Saturday, June 2, 2012
Molina merits Canelo consideration

By Dan Rafael

Junior middleweight titlist Saul "Canelo" Alvarez needs an opponent for his Sept. 15 pay-per-view date at the MGM Grand. That's because of Paul Williams' tragic motorcycle accident, which has left the fighter paralyzed from the waist down, and because James Kirkland's surgically repaired shoulder still aches -- but also because Kirkland doesn't think a purse of nearly $1 million is enough.

Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer said after Kirkland's withdrawal on Friday that the show would go on -- and insisted it would still be on pay-per-view, even though Kirkland was a huge reach as a pay-per-view opponent in the first place.

Schaefer mentioned several names that he thought could be potential opponents: the winner of Saturday night's bout between titleholder Austin Trout and Delvin Rodriguez; former welterweight titlist Carlos Quintana, who was impressive in knocking out Deandre Latimore on May 5 on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Miguel Cotto pay-per-view undercard; top contender Erislandy Lara; and Vanes Martirosyan (who is promoted by Golden Boy rival Top Rank).

The one man Schaefer didn't mention was Carlos Molina -- the same Molina who was robbed in a draw against Lara last year and who utterly outclassed Kirkland on March 24, only to be astonishingly disqualified at the end of the 10th round by overzealous referee Jon Schorle in one of the worst referee calls I've ever seen.

Molina, a legitimate top-10 junior middleweight, has every bit the right to at least be mentioned along with those other fighters Schaefer cited.

Molina, of course, would love a crack at Alvarez.

"Hell yeah, I want that fight," Molina said. "Every time I fight somebody, it seems like they get to fight Canelo after that. Kirkland was the second time it was going to happen. First time was with Kermit Cintron, whom I beat [and whom Alvarez then knocked out two fights later in 2011]. Now they're talking about giving the fight to Erislandy Lara, [who] I had a controversial draw with. What can I do?"

As always, Molina is staying in shape in the hopes that his phone rings with an offer.

"I'm in the gym training. I'm ready for anyone -- Canelo, anybody," Molina said. "I want to fight anybody in the top 10. I want hard fights, the toughest guys out there. This is the best division in boxing, and that's where I want to be."

As for how he would fare against Alvarez if the unexpected call comes?

"I think he's a good, strong young kid, but I see lots of openings to exploit on him," Molina said. "He's good for a young guy, but how good? Let's find out."