Jose Pedraza vs. Javier Molina Notes & Quotes
Junior welterweight contenders Jose Pedraza and Javier
Molina have shared history. Both were 2008 Olympians in
Beijing, with Molina representing the United States and
Pedraza fighting for Puerto Rico. As professionals, Pedraza
has won world titles at junior lightweight and lightweight,
while Molina has taken a more circuitous route to a main
Pedraza and Molina will square off in the 10-round headliner
Saturday evening from the MGM Grand ďBubbleĒ (ESPN+, 7:30
p.m. ET), with the winner positioned for a potential world
Pedraza is a little more than two months removed from a
lopsided decision win over Mikkel LesPierre, while Molina
has won four fights since signing with Top Rank in early
2019. Molina, following a pair of defeats, took more than
two years off from the ring and worked the overnight shift
at a Southern California warehouse to pay the bills.
Following an upset win over Amir Imam on the Deontay
Wilder-Tyson Fury II undercard, he now faces the most
accomplished fighter of his 11-year pro career.
Two days before their ďBubbleĒ main event, Pedraza and
Molina met the media for a Zoom press conference. This is
what they had to say.
ďIím cool with being the underdog. There is a reason Iím
seen that way, and itís because I havenít shown my full
potential. Fans havenít seen all I can do in the ring. Like
I said, Iím alright with being the underdog. Iím going to
surprise a lot of people on Saturday.
ďThere were some tough times where I thought about not
fighting anymore, but I have so much to give in the sport.
Thatís why I decided to turn my career around. I have
dedicated myself to the sport, and thatís why Iím this
position right now.
ďBy beating Pedraza, I put myself in a good position to
challenge for a world title. I know that a victory against a
great name like Pedraza will bring me closer to that
opportunity to become a champion.
ďWe have answers for anything he brings. I can adapt to
whatever he does the ring. If he wants to brawl, we're going
to brawl, and if I have to box and move around, thatís what
I will do to win the fight.
ďPedraza looked good against LesPierre, but I'm not
LesPierre. He is flatfooted and Iím not. We have been
studying all his recent fights and my game plan is similar
to what Lomachenko and Zepeda did against him. If they think
Iím going to be outgunned this Saturday, they are in for a
"I have my sights set on a world championship at 140. My
goal is to join the select club of three-division world
champions from Puerto Rico. That's why this fight against
Molina is so important. I know that a big win on Saturday
will put me a step closer to that opportunity of challenging
for a world title in the junior welterweight division. It's
a must-win for me.
"I know that I'm very close to a world title opportunity,
but my total focus is on the fight I have in front of me. I
know Molina is a good fighter. I have never overlooked him.
I have prepared with that in mind and thatís why I have
trained very hard for this fight. I'm ready to send a
message to the two champions and all the contenders in the
"He says he's "El Intocable'"(The Untouchable), but I'm the
'Sniper' and I come with great precision to erase the
nickname "El Intocable" that Javier Molina has. This will be
another chapter in the historic rivalry between Mexico and
Puerto Rico. It will be a great fight.
ďFrom my end, I have never overlooked him. He is a great
fighter. With that in mind, I have prepared myself for a
tough opponent. I know he believes heís the underdog, but I
know heís a great fighter.Ē