Javier Molina Beats Rival

Photo by Al Applerose

Javier Molina Victorious Over Jessie Roman in L.A. Clash

By Tarrah Zael

LOS ANGELES-Two Southern Californian hometown rivals battled it out for bragging rights and a possible contract with Golden Boy Promotions, with Javier Molina taking the victory win over Jessie Roman in an eight-round super lightweight main event.

In front of a sold-out crowd at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles, both fighters’ hometowns cheered for their own on opposite sides of the ring. Norwalk’s Molina (18-2, 8 KO) won the unanimous decision over Santa Ana’s Roman (22-4, 11 KO) with all three judges scoring the fight at 79-73.

Molina, a former U.S. national champion, after being inactive for two and a half years, made a victorious return.

“I felt I fought really well, I got some ring dust off against a good opponent” says Molina, “I’m happy to finally be back in the ring”.

While Roman showcased his style and power in the earlier rounds, he was easily out-pointed by Molina who landed more punches. With crowds chanting “Molina- Molina”, Norwalk’s Molina made sure Roman fought his fight by effectively landing sharp combination punches and angling out to set up for his next blow.

Roman’s ability to counter Molina’s combinations all the way through the eight-round defeat, showed his class outside the ring as well, “we came to fight, and tonight he was the better man, says Roman, “We are going to continue working hard for another opportunity and hope to come back soon. Congratulations to Javier Molina”.

Other bouts

The co-main event was full of action in a tough super bantamweight battle between Rafael Gramajo (10-1-2, 2 KO) against Tijuana, Mexico’s Victor Ruiz (21-9, 14 KO). The fight kept the packed Belasco theatre crowd on the edge of their seats as the unanimous decision went to Gramajo who had the two of the judges score the fight at 76-75 and one at 78-73.

"There are a few things I could have done better in this fight," says Gramajo. "We need to go back to the gym to work on some things. I'm happy I got the victory tonight, but I have to stay busier in the ring. I'll be back as soon as possible."

Ruiz proved he was the more exciting fighter in the ring. The southpaw moved and landed more effective punches as Gramajo chased him down with his wide punches. Round four set the tone for the rest of the fight, when Gramajo pushed Ruiz against the ropes with his hooks to the body, Ruiz easily ducked out of his swings countering Gramajo with a silly wide eye head shake and his tongue out. However, Gramajo kept his focus on the fight.

The scoring could have easily gone to Tijuana’s Ruiz for the win if the judges paid more attention to the actual fight than the sway of the crowd’s judgment. A rematch for these fighters in the future will definitely be a fight worth watching.

In a scheduled six round bantamweight battle, Texas’ Joshua Franco (14-1, 7 KO) opened the EstrellaTV broadcast with a fifth-round technical knockout win over Mexico’s pugilist Isao Carranza (15-12-1, 9 KO).

With his heavy left hooks to the body and quick uppercuts to the chin, Franco came back victorious after his first loss in his professional career against Lucas Leone. “This victory means everything after my last setback” exclaims Franco, “I came better prepared than ever before, and my loss showed me that I have to keep coming back stronger and stronger. I want the rematch (Lucas Leone)”.

Stepping into the ring with a tough chinned MMA fighter, Joey Alday Jr. (8-0, 7 KO) lost his all knockout record streak against his opponent Nam Phan (3-6-1, 2 KO). Alday of Texas still scored the four-round unanimous decision victory with all three the judges scoring the fight at 40-36 over Garden Grove’s Nam Phan.

“The fight went as planned, I knew he was a UFC fighter, so that meant I had to be very busy. I also knew he’d have a good chin because of his record,” says Alday.

With Phan always moving forward every round, Alday landed more power punches and frequently. Still, it was an exciting fight to see two dynamic styles of the art of fighting in the ring Friday night.