Molina (26-3, 21 knockouts), who turns 31 in December, is coming off a come-from-behind, 10th and final-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Mickey Bey (18-1-1, 9 KOs).
Meanwhile, Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) dropped Japan’s Nihito Arakawa (24-3-1, 16 KOs) in the second and sixth rounds of this past Saturday’s brutal 12-round unanimous decision, a bout that is an early Fight of The Year candidate.
Molina continues to be haunted by last September’s 44-second loss to Antonio DeMarco, who cornered Molina and fired upon him repeatedly along the ropes until referee Jack Reiss called a halt to the fight. Had Molina reacted better, he might have taken a knee in order to preserve himself a bit longer in the fight.
“(A fight against Figueroa) would help him to get some retribution, because, you know, that DeMarco fight still bothers him,” said Goossen. “As we have seen since, he’s got a great chin. And what happened in that DeMarco fight, without revisiting the past, we certainly believe that, allowed to continue, John would have preceded on in and eventually gotten his hand raised. You can see that there is no quit in John Molina.”
Goossen is hopeful of making Figueroa-Molina, since he and Golden Boy are currently involved in negotiations for a potential Sept. 6 clash of heavyweights between Goossen’s fighter, Chris Arreola (35-3, 30 KOs), and Golden Boy’s Seth Mitchell (26-1-1, 19 KOs).
“We’re going to definitely bring that up for conversation, yes. A fight between Molina and Figueroa, whether it’s in Texas or California,” said Goossen.
“Barring a world title fight, we’re going to just go out there and make the best fight that we can for John. He’s getting back into the gym this week, so we’re going to have a meeting next week and I’ll sit down with John.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org