John Molina outpunched Ruslan Provodnikov in an all-action fight by revealing a new weapon in his arsenal, a sharp and steady jab. Molina captured a surprising unanimous decision in a 12-round junior welterweight bout that featured fierce exchanges throughout Saturday on SHOWTIME from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
Molina and Provodnikov promised a war, and they delivered. But what surprised many was the volume of punches and effective jabbing from Molina (29-6, 23 KOs), a veteran more known for engaging in brawls than his boxing prowess. Molina threw nearly 1,110 total punches, including 643 jabs compared to just 265 for Provodnikov, who failed to close the range on his naturally bigger opponent.
"We knew we had to outwork Provodnikov," said the 33-year-old Covina, Calif., native. "It was a fight that we needed. Ruslan Provodnikov is a very notable name. He's a tough, tough guy. He kept moving forward.
"People don't realize I had my amateur career in the pros, and now it's my time to step out and shine. I have a new trainer. Shadeed (Suluki) showed me how to throw punches and use my power."
Molina vs. Provodnikov was scored 116-112, 117-111, 115-113.