Last Saturday's telecast of Boxing After Dark on HBO was filled with controversy when the hard hitting James Kirkland (31-1, 27KOs) took on the clever Carlos Molina(19-5-2, 6KOs).
In what turned out to be a slower fight than expected, Molina controlled most of the action from the opening bell with his slick counter punching style. Kirkland looked very tight and uncomfortable as Molina slipped from side to side, ducking his head while landing quick straights to the chin of his opponent. As the rounds went on Molina smothered Kirkland against the ropes and through shots on every break. Kirkland kept pushing forward but the crafty Molina used that against him.
Molina also held Kirkland's arms as both fighters approached the inside fighting. After nine rounds of everything stated above, Molina began to slow down a bit in the 9th. Before the 10th, Kirkland's trainer Ann Wolfe whispered something into her fighter's ear that sounded like the motivation he needed.
Kirkland came out stalking Molina and landed an uppercut followed by two hooks. Kirkland then landed a heavy right hand as Molina tried to tie up. Molina looked badly hurt. He kept moving back and proceeded to smother Kirkland once again. This was a very ugly fight.
Molina landed a beautiful two punch combo ending with a left hook that appeared to drop Kirkland but it was ruled a slip.
With five seconds left in the round, Kirkland landed a quick right that dropped Molina. As the bell rung, Molina got up from the canvas and his corner jumped in the ring only to be told to get out. About two minutes later the referee informed the judges that Molina was disqualified due to his corner jumping in the ring during a referee count.
A bad call indeed.
Molina was winning the fight easily even thou Kirkland began to come on strong. It would have been interesting to see what could've happened with just two rounds to go.
Kirkland promised Molina a rematch at the end of the night but who knows if it will happen considering the ugliness of the fight.