News: John Molina Jr; Muriqi vs Clinton Woods; Belinda Laracuente

Los Angeles, CA (December 19, 2008) – On the heels of last month’s signing of East LA 2008 Olympian Shawn Estrada, Goossen Tutor Promotions’ President Dan Goossen has signed undefeated Covina, CA lightweight John Molina, Jr. to an exclusive promotional contract with the company. One of the hottest young lightweight prospects in boxing, Molina, who will turn 26 three days after Christmas, is 14-0 with 10 of those wins coming by way of knockout..

At 5-11, he is tall for his weight class and uses his height, speed and knockout power in both hands to his advantage. Eight of his 10 knockouts have come in the first two rounds, including five first round blowouts!

“It’s always exciting whenever we sign a hot prospect who possesses not only the skills but also the mental fortitude necessary to become a World Champion,” Goossen offered

“My brother Joe has known John for a few years and suggested that we take a look at him. When we did, we witnessed a young man that showed tremendous punching power, the type fans love to see. And with Joe now working with John in the gym, the team is ready to move forward toward the world championship.”

Molina, who is co-managed by his father, John Molina, Sr. and Ben Lira, made his pro debut in March 2006 with a second-round knockout of Lester Balmores in Maywood, CA. He fought four more times that year, scoring three more knockouts.

In 2007 Molina knocked out three of his four opponents.

This year he has stopped three of his five opponents including, most recently, Fernando Lizarraga last month in Highland, CA.

Molina is looking forward to taking his career to the next level with Goossen Tutor.

“This is like a dream come true, something I’ve been working for my whole life,” said Molina. “Being with Goossen Tutor is a notch on my belt because I know they are very selective and passionate about their boxers, and for them to have interest in signing me is a compliment unto itself. I am very anxious to show my ability not just to Southern California but also to the World.

“The goal here was to find the vehicle that is going to take me to where I believe I can be – a World Champion. I believe we all have the same goal in mind. I’m also very happy to be part of the same team as Shawn Estrada, Paul Williams, Chris Arreola, Manny Quezada, and Andre Ward, to name just a few.

“The treatment I received from Goossen Tutor far exceeded any I got from other promoters. They made me feel at home. They’re a home-based company about family and I’m a home-based guy. I was raised in a close-knit family and so were the Goossens. It makes me feel comfortable. And I believe I made an excellent decision in my career.”

“And so did we,” Dan Goossen added.


On February 14th, Star Boxing's world rated light heavyweight contender Elvir "Kosovo Kid" Muriqi (35-4, 22KO), will travel across the Atlantic to take on former IBF light heavyweight champion Clinton Woods (41-4-1, 24KO). The bout will be held in Woods native United Kingdom at the exclusive and legendary Hotel De France, Jersey, Channel Islands and will be an official IBF eliminator for the #2 ranking in the Light Heavyweight division. The card will be promoted by Dennis Hobson Promotions in association with Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing.


In 2007 Muriqi lost a highly disputed majority decision to former Light Heavyweight king, Antonio Tarver. Many of those watching and those in attendance felt Muriqi's did more than enough to pull out the victory. Muriqi bounced back earlier this year, stopping Jameel Wilson in the fourth round of their ten round scheduled light heavyweight contest. Woods last fought against Antonio Tarver on April 12th losing a twelve round decision to Tarver and in the process losing his IBF belt.

"I am very excited for this fight," stated Muriqi. "This is a huge fight for me and my career. A win over Woods, puts me right at the top of the ratings and into title contention."

Regarding fighting Woods in his home country, Muriqi did not seem to be too worried, if at all. "I realize I am fighting in his country, but I am going to win the fight so convincingly there will be no need for judges. I know Woods is a very tough fighter and that he can take a very good shot so I am preparing to go the entire twelve rounds but don't think I will need to put the judges to work. It is going to be a very exciting, action packed fight. Anyone who knows me knows that I always come to fight and always put on a good showing, and that's exactly what I am going to do come February 14th."

Star Boxing CEO Joe DeGuardia voiced a similar opinion regarding the confidence in Muriqi winning the fight. "This is a very good fight for Elvir. It is going to be a tough fight though, we know that, but after sitting down with Elvir and his team we are all confident of the outcome. Elvir has already been training for this fight for a few weeks now and he is already in tremendous shape. It is going to be a great night for Elvir and for Star Boxing on the 14th and we are really looking forward to it."

"We are very excited to be bringing these two world class fighters together on February 14th," said Wood's promoter Dennis Hobson. "This is a major event for us and also for the entire island of Jersey. I think this fight is a little bit similar to the Rico Hoye situation," Hobson said, with regards to when Woods beat Hoye to finally become a world champion. "Elvir Muriqi is a roughhouse type of opponent who is desperate to get in position for a title fight next. With his [Muriqi's] style of fighting, there's no way the fight can fail to be exciting."

Woods voiced a similar opinion as Muriqi to how big this fight is at this stage of his career. "I have one more chance now. Dennis has got me into the position where if I beat this guy I will get a world title fight," Woods said. "I think he [Muriqi] beat Tarver, and he's also got the chance to get back to world level again. I promise my fans who spent a lot of money to come and see me fight in Tampa, I'll repay them with a world title next year. It will definitely be a win for me."

Belinda Laracuente 'I will win my 50th pro fight'

By Edward Sande

FATUMA Zarika says she is unperturbed by American Belinda Laracuente’s vast experience and record when they square off for the WIBF Women's International Boxing Federation Featherweight title at Charter hall today.

“I have what it takes to also show her what stuff I am made of. Otherwise I foresee a very volatile and entertaining fight,” Zarika said of her intended act when the two easily made weight outside City Hall this morning. Both boxers weighed in comfortablecomfortablegs.

Belinda was brimming with confidence as she went through the scales. Being her second outing in Africa, Belinda reckons it’s a must win situation after she lost to Esther Phiri of Zambia in Lusaka last year for the GBU Intercontinental lightweight title. “There was no level playing field when we fought with Esrther (Phiri). I believe I had crisp, clean punches but the judges through otherwise,” said Belinda.

Asked of her opponent in tomorrow’s fight, Belinda says she has enough respect for Zarika at her title defence “but she also has a seruios challenger in me,” said Belinda.

At 29, Belinda- a fine boxer- has 49 fights and has lost 23 including a scalp she failed to grasp against the crack Mary Jo Sanders.

“I beleive it will be an excting fight and being my 50th outing I want to treat it with much caution and venegence,” Belinda observed.

Zarika, on the other hand, returns to serious business, a welcome relief to her after her immigration woes saw her forfeit two overseas fights in the past two years. But after being acquitted of the illegal immigrant charges, Zarika will be the one to explode before the home crowd at Charter Hall. The fights will be promoted by Caleb Kuya of Osaga Promotions and sanctioned by Kenya Professional Boxing Commission (KPBC).

It will be Zarika’s return to serious international involvements since successfully defending her WIBF titles against Bulgarians Galina Koleva Ivanova and Iliana Boneva in Nairobi .

The beautiful Puerto Rican (now 23 - 23 -3, 9KOs) has remarkably never been knocked out of a fight. It would not be expected for Zarika to achieve that on the Puerto Rican's landmark 50th professional fight. This will probably be the most seasoned opponent that the Kenyan encounters so far. Zarika has a 47 % knock out rate in her 23 professional fights.

Laracuente's manager, Wanda Bruce, who is making her third boxing expedition to Africa (she has been in boxing outings in Zambia and Kenya before) attests to her charge's experience. “What we are bringing to this contest is a wealth of experience, Belinda has fought far harder boxers than Fatuma, so I am sure of what the fight’s results will be, if there will be level playing ground,” said Bruce.

On the under cards, American Kompa Koroma will battle with Nasser Athumani for a GBU light welterweight contest.

Laracuente's manager, Wanda Bruce, who is making her third boxing expedition to Africa attests to her charge's experience. 'what we are bringing to this contest is a wealth of experience, Belinda has fought far hardder boxers than Fatuma, so I am sure of what tomorow's results will be, if there will be level playing ground'

The diminutive Kenyan who has dismissed Laracuente's record insists that she has what it takes to come out tops at Nairobi's Charter Hall tomorrow afternoon.

'Yes her record speaks well of her experience' Zarika said, 'but that is the least of my worries. There is only one thing I have to do tomorrow and that is to win this fight.

On the under cards, American Kompa Koroma will battle Kenyan Nasser Athumani, Kenyans Raymond Ochieng and Benedetta Kaloki will face off against Douglas Chilembe and Rukia Nasirate respectively. The other female bout will be between Judy Waguthi and Hellen Joseph. Twalib Mubiru also trades leather with experienced

Article posted on 19.12.2008

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