By James Slater: Well, last night’s win for warrior James Kirkland sure was a strange, controversial one. Emerging victorious over a crafty, cagey, some would say disappointingly negative Carlos Molina by 10th-round disqualification, Kirkland remains in position to challenge reigning WBC 154-pound champ Saul Alvarez (providing Canelo can get past Sugar Shane Mosley on May 5th of course).
But the fight in Houston left as many questions as it left answers. The fight also left a lot to be desired in terms of the thrilling action southpaw slugger Kirkland, now 31-1(23) usually provides. Molina had been decked right at the end of the 10th-round of what had been an ugly, messy fight (due totally to the Mexican’s game-plan of spoiling, holding and wrestling in my opinion), but the 28-year-old (the same age as Kirkland) beat the count after taking the right/ left combo to the head that put him down.
Then, one of Molina’s corner-men entered the ring, as Michael Buffer put it “while the fight was still in progress, leaving the referee with no choice but to DQ Molina” and the ugly fight was over. The fans booed incessantly, clearly feeling Molina was hard done by. And if you’d just tuned in, you’d have agreed that yes, Molina was hard done by. Yet in light of the previous nine-rounds, when Molina used so many negative (he would say smart) tactics, which included mauling, pushing on and leaning in with his head – maybe the loser deserved what he got.
Molina, now 19-5-2(6) didn’t fight like a winner last night; that’s for sure. But, hey, this is just my opinion – with this fight and the way it wound up, it’s a case of take your pick. But what we do not want to see is a part-2 of last night’s dull affair.
Kirkland TRIED to make the fight the best he could, but Molina – who, to add to the frustration some viewers felt when watching, has ability and used it on occasion – just wouldn’t stop his octopus impression. Kirkland was soon frustrated, as were many of the fans in attendance, and the rounds dragged by, pretty much the same way all night.
Then, finally, Kirkland broke through and had the satisfaction of seeing his tormentor on the canvas – only for the member of Team-Molina to ruin what could have been a definitive ending by choosing to break the rules and climb into the ring. All in all a real shame; for both fighters.
But onwards and upwards: we can now, hopefully, look forward to the next Kirkland thriller. Should reigning WBC king Canelo Alvarez do as the bookmakers, the majority of the fans and most of the experts feel he will do and beat Sugar Shane on that massive night in May, it could be Kirkland next.
Rest assured, that fight will NOT be a repeat of last night’s stinker. And for any of those fans who do feel Molina was hard done by, ask yourselves this: who would you rather see fight for the world title against Alvarez – Kirkland or Molina? ’Nuff said.