Carlos Molina, THE RING’s No. 6-rated junior middleweight, outhustled and outboxed Damian Frias to a shutout unanimous decision in the main event of the Friday Night Fights season finale from Miami, Okla., on Friday.
Molina (20-5-2, 6 knockouts), who won by unanimous scores of 100-90, controlled the pedestrian 10-round bout from start to finish with constant in-and-out movement and a busier offense whenever he was in range of the competent 35-year-old southpaw.
Molina, a crafty 29-year-old Chicagoan, used consistent lefts to the body and well-timed right hands to keep Frias (19-5-1, 10 KOs) in check for most of the bout. The Cuban-born resident of Miami, Fla., tried to land his jab and counter with hooks and left crosses but apart from a clean straight left landed in the seventh round he seldom connected with solid punches.
Molina, who was coming off a controversial 10th-round disqualification loss to James Kirkland in March, was just too cagey and technically solid – which is why most of his fellow 154-pound contenders are not eager to fight him.
In the co-featured bout of the ESPN2 broadcast, super middleweight standout Don George stopped late-substitute Dionisio Miranda after six rounds to earn a title elimination bout against his original opponent Adonis Stevenson.
George (23-2-1, 20 KOs) had prepared to face a southpaw in Stevenson, who pulled out of the fight five days ago after suffering a hand injury during training, so the Chicago native needed a few rounds to find his rhythm against his fellow right-hand bomber.
George, who was coming off a decision loss to contender Edwin Rodriguez in March, doggedly stalked a constantly moving Miranda for five rounds working a stiff jab and launching his vaunted straight right – while occasionally marching into a right hand or uppercut – before finally connecting with a series of right hands in the sixth.
Miranda, a 31-year-old Miami-based Colombian who hadn’t fought in more than a year, elected to stay on his stool before the start of the seventh round. The fringe contender-turned journeyman knew he was out of gas, as did his corner, which instructed referee Gary Ritter to stop the fight.
Miranda has now lost five of his last seven bouts – all by knockout (albeit to good fighters).
George will move on to his title elimination bout against Stevenson, which is now scheduled for Oct. 13 in southpaw puncher’s hometown of Montreal.