Terence Crawford retained his WBO & WBC Super-Lightweight Titles with a dominant win against the overweight John Molina, who was stopped in the eighth round.
From the start, the Champion began at a fast pace, keen on impressing his home crowd at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
The opening two rounds set the tone, as ‘Bud’ instantly looked too smart and precise with Molina opting for a brawling style in the hope of dragging his opponent into a dogfight.
In the third session the challenger did land an overhand right with Crawford backed up on the ropes, but that was the only slither of success for Molina in the whole contest.
Crawford boxed excellently and switched to the southpaw stance early on. He gradually broke Molina down and found plenty of success with the left hook.
Smelling blood towards the end of the eighth round, Crawford backed Molina into a corner and landed a series powerful shots to the head and body before the referee waved it off.
It was a classy display from the pound-for-pound star. He has spoken of unifying the 140lbs division so he could be in some big fights next year.
Unbeaten Super-Lightweight king Terence Crawford defends his WBC and WBO World Titles against John Molina Jr. on December 10th, live on BoxNation.
The bout will take place in the 29-year-old’s hometown of Nebraska, Omaha at the CenturyLink Center which holds over 17,000 fans.
In his last outing in July, Crawford (29-0, 20 KOs) unified the division by dominating Viktor Postol over 12 rounds. The Ukrainian was regarded as the second best 140 pounder at the time.
The American cemented his place on the current top 10 pound-for-pound list with the victory, sending Postol to the canvas twice on the way to a clear win on the scorecards.
Molina Jr. (29-6, 23 KOs) caused a big upset in his last fight as he overcame Ruslan Provodnikov via a unanimous decision in June, outworking his Russian opponent.
The California fighter has lost to Adrien Broner and Lucas Matthysse in recent years and is known for his hard-hitting style, so this contest seems like a good match-up for Crawford who may be looking ahead to bigger fights next year.
Scotland’s Ricky Burns, who lost to Crawford at Lightweight, currently holds the WBA belt, while 25-0 Russian Eduard Troyanovsky is the IBF Champion at 140 pounds.
‘Bud’ tweeted that he plans to unify the Super-Lightweight division and face the other title-holders before moving up in weight.
Looking ahead, there are a number of attractive fights at Welterweight, such as a possible clash with Manny Pacquiao, who is also promoted by Bob Arum.
Molina Jr. will be full of confidence from his last victory though, so Crawford must avoid any slip-ups in December, with some huge fights on the horizon for 2017.
The undercard will feature former WBA, WBO and IBF Lightweight Champion Juan Diaz against Ray Beltran, as well as the pro debut of American Nico Hernandez, who claimed a Light-Flyweight bronze medal at Rio 2016.