“King” Molina Notches another Win in Tacoma

By Ricardo Ibarra, Photo by Mike Blair - Chicago’s Carlos “King” Molina took another step towards title contention last Saturday at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington, adding yet another meaningful victory to his resurging career résumé. Turning in a workman-like performance, Molina easily defeated power punching Ed Paredes with a near-shutout ten round unanimous decision. The performance was an impressive one considering many at ringside expected Paredes to be a tough opponent, yet Molina handled the challenge with ease..

boxingFrom the outset of the bout Molina (16-4-1 5KOs 147 lbs.) took control, using a superior set of boxing skills to control the pace. Working behind his jab and maneuvering effectively around the ring, Molina was able to set up his combinations, which he landed with precision throughout. His opponent served as an inviting target, pressing straight forward with not much of a defense and seemingly no set game plan, leaving himself open for Molina’s counter attack. While Paredes (21-3 13KOs 147 lbs.) had a few successful moments in the eighth round when he was able to push his opponent back with hard rights, Molina regained control in the ninth and closed out the bout engaging his opponent with a barrage of punches that brought the local crowd to its feet..

Over the course of ten rounds, Molina patiently and methodically broke his opponent down with a consistent work rate, easily securing the victory by scores of 100-90, 99-91, and 96-94.

The victory marked the eighth consecutive win for Molina since starting his career 8-4-1. With every outing his skills show escalating improvements. Molina is not a flashy, eye-catching fighter, but he is proving himself to be a tough, intelligent fighter with a solid base of skills sure to give any fighter in the upper tier of the welterweight division problems.

The semi-main event of the night was certainly the best fight on the card and one of the better women’s fights of the year. In a wild four round slugfest, Tammie Johnson (3-2-2 131 lbs.) of Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Colombia’s Sarah Pucek (3-0-1 1KO 133 lbs.) battled to a majority draw.

Johnson stormed right at Pucek from the sound of the first bell, immediately engaging her younger opponent, perhaps hoping to rattle the confidence of the inexperienced fighter. But Pucek surprised most, standing and trading with Johnson and giving as good as she received. The bout was close and fought mostly in close proximity with both fighters trading momentum throughout, but in the end Pucek appeared to be the fighter that had landed the more effective shots. One judge agreed, scoring the bout for Pucek 39-37, while the other two judges saw the bout 38-38. Fans can only hope they get to see these two warriors go at it once again.

In a six round rubber match, Escondido, California’s Dashon Johnson (5-2-2 1KO 147 lbs.) faced off with the tough and durable Darren Darby (5-11-3 1KO 147 lbs.) once again. And, as was the case in their first two fights, Darby gave Johnson his toughest fight to date.

As the bout got under way, it at first appeared that Johnson would have an easy fight against Darby. For the first two rounds Johnson boxed well, using lateral movement and quick combinations to keep Darby off balance, forcing him to reach with his punches. But in the third round Darby began to close the gap.

Pressing aggressively with power punches, Darby quickly began to find his mark in the third with right hands, forcing Johnson to stand and trade. Darby stunned Johnson with solid hooks twice in the round, both times knocking the mouthpiece out of his opponent’s mouth. Johnson would lose two points in the round for losing his mouthpiece, putting him behind on points.

Recognizing that he was behind, Johnson stepped up his aggression in the fourth round, moving in close with thudding shots to the head and body, before moving back out of the pocket. While Darby kept up his aggression and made the fight close, it was Johnson who controlled the final rounds with effective boxing. All three judges scored the bout 57-55 for Johnson.

In only his second pro fight, local fan favorite Francisco Reyes (1-0 1NC 1KO 135lbs.) is already building quite a following in the Seattle area. A large contingent turned out to see him fight, and while they only got to see him in action for less than two minutes, they were quite satisfied with the outcome—a first round TKO of Bend, Oregon’s Nick Briannes (1-2 135 lbs.).

After a very short feeling out process in the early moments of the first round, Reyes opened up with looping power shots to his opponent’s head and body. A hard left hook to the body dropped Briannes to his knees. Briannes made it to his feet at nine, but the expression on his face made it clear he could no longer continue. The referee wisely waived the fight off a 1:04 of the first round.

Twenty-two year old Aubrey Morrow (3-0-1 168 lbs.) remained undefeated and added his third knockout in as many wins, scoring a third round stoppage of tough fellow Canadian Ty MacDougall (0-1-1 168 ½ lbs.). MacDougal, of Kamloops, B.C., found early success in the bout as he used his jab to set up his right hand. Morrow, of Qualicum Beach, B.C., seems to have a habit of starting slow and had problems getting off and avoiding his opponent’s counter rights in the first two rounds.

Morrow’s approach changed in the third. As the round began, he quickly pressed his opponent with hard one-twos. A straight right buckled the knees of MacDougall, prompting Morrow to unload with a barrage of power shots, dropping his opponent. After the mandatory eight-count, Morrow pressed, sending MacDougall down again, this time with a body shot. The referee called the fight at the bell, awarding Morrow the TKO at 3:00 of the third round.

A four round Jr. Welterweight bout between fellow novices Miguel Garcia (0-0-1 138 lbs.) and Guillermo Delgadillo (0-0-1 136 ½ lbs.) ended in a majority draw. Both showed a good degree of skill for two fighters making their pro debuts, but neither was able to take a definitive lead in the bout, trading momentum throughout. The judges scored the bout 39-37 Garcia, 38-38, and 38-38.

The six bout card was promoted by Brian Halquist Productions and marked the seventy-first installment of “Battle at the Boat”, currently one of the longest running ongoing boxing series in the Pacific Northwest. The next boxing event at the Emerald Queen is scheduled for June 20th. The venue will also feature an MMA event May 16th. For ticket information contact the casino box office or visit

Article posted on 16.04.2009

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