For John Molina Jr., the chance to face Victor Ortiz this Sunday night is a career achievement in and of itself.
Molina and Ortiz will headline the Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 event from Ontario, California and the Citizens Business Bank Arena.
After suffering a 2016 loss to Terence Crawford, Molina (30-7) returned last December and finished Ivan Redkach in the fourth round for his 24th career knockout win.
“Victor deserves my undivided attention and he has it. Especially for this fight. He is a big strong guy who hits hard for 147-pounds. I never pick the easy guy when I move up in weight. My first fight at 140 was Lucas Matthysse and I expect fireworks for this fight as well,” he said during a recent press conference. “I know that Victor is going to be himself in there. We’re both veterans who have been been down this road before. He’s coming to win and that’s what excites me. I think everyone watching is going to get a treat on September 30.
“Victor is probably the physically bigger guy because he’s been at welterweight longer, but I think I carry the weight well. I’ve always been big for my weight classes so I think it will fit perfectly.”
Back in 2012, Molina faced off against Antonio DeMarco for the WBC lightweight title, suffering a first round TKO loss in just 44 seconds. He went on to meet Lucas Matthysee for the WBC Continental Americas light welterweight belt two years later and won the vacant WBO international light welterweight title in 2016 with a decision over Ruslan Provodnikov.
“My ability to bounce back and deal with adversity in the ring is all about mindset. When I’m in that ring, I’m just 100 percent focused on doing what I have to do for my family. I’ve been blessed by boxing. I put it all on the line,” he said. “Training is what I do. I’ve been down this road before so it’s really just built into my system to get in the gym and work hard. Everything has been going great. We’re on track with some hard work ahead to be ready for fight night.
“I know I have to go through the fire every time I get into the ring. If I didn’t think that I’d be fooling myself. You can say what you want about Victor, but he’s always been in exciting fights and I’m going to have to deal with that style on September 30.”
Along with Molina Jr. vs. Ortiz, unbeaten featherweight contender Brandon Figueroa taking on rugged veteran Oscar Escandon in a 10-round bout, 2016 British Olympian Joe Joyce battling Iago Kiladze in an eight-round heavyweight attraction and rising unbeaten prospects Efe Ajagba and Joey Spencer in separate showdowns.