SAN DIEGO – March 25, 2012 – If a casual boxing fan watched Saturday night’s event from Reliant Arena in Houston and decided from now on he or she would watch MMA instead, you couldn’t blame them.
The first bout was nothing less than a hot Texas mess. James Kirkland “won” due to a disqualification of opponent Carlos Molina after the tenth round. “Won” must be in quotes because as Woody Allen once said, it was a travesty of a mockery of a sham.
Kirkland didn’t look too good for most of the fight. Molina was backing him up, connecting well, and moving well enough that it seemed to confuse Kirkland. Kirkland was moving underwater slow. By round 8, Molina was completely in control. Kirkland’s trainer Ann Wolfe hollered at her fighter to get moving, clearly frustrated. Before round 10 she said, “You have got to let it go, son,” meaning that only a knockout would allow Kirkland to save the fight.
Kirkland finally came alive and unleashed some power. At the end of round 10, Kirkland appeared to send Molina to the canvas cleanly just a fraction ahead of the bell. Referee Jon Schorle gave Molina a standing eight count. Molina’s confused cornerman thought the round was over and came into the ring. Schorle paused between count five and six to push them back out of the ring. He concluded, and that’s where it all fell apart.
Out of nowhere, Schorle then stops the fight due to the cornerman coming into the ring. Yet he said nothing to him at the time. There was a collective “Huh?” and then “What?” from everyone involved.
Ann Wolfe went straight over to the distraught Molina, consoled him and said clearly, “You WERE winning, you were winning.” Wolfe and Kirkland both said after the fight they would give Molina a rematch. Promoters are hedging; Kirkland didn’t do well against Molina and the fight wasn’t entertaining as expected. The situation was atrocious. Inspectors present from the state of Texas didn’t do their job. For announcer Michael Buffer to be asked to say that referee Schorle “had no choice, following the rules, had to call the fight to an end.”
Kirkland was robbed of a real victory, as he had at least a chance to finish Molina off in the final two rounds; Molina was flat out robbed. Molina was winning but getting tired; he was being allowed to hold excessively. If Kirkland is going to be taken seriously as a contender, he needs to focus, show some energy, and make weight without struggling so much. Kirkland is now 31-1; Molina is now 19-5-2.
In the main event, Erik Morales failed to make weight, and rather than try and drop two pounds, he paid $50,000 and gave up the title to try and eke out a victory, perhaps in his last opportunity in the ring.
It didn’t work out as he hoped, but Morales went out with his head held high after holding his own with the younger, faster, and far more determined Danny Garcia, who won a unanimous decision.
Garcia was extremely fast, but Morales used experience to anticipate where Garcia would go with his punches, and it worked much of the time. Morales landed some quality punches, enough to remind everyone what a great fighter he was in his prime. Morales did open a serious cut to the top of Garcia’s nose, but it wasn’t enough to stop him. Garcia simply landed far more shots, with far more accuracy.
It was a quality fight, though not an exciting one. Perhaps we are spoiled after a year of truly outstanding fights. After the bout, Morales said he would have to think about retiring for good. He said, “My time has passed… I fought with dignity and pride, and I’m not sad.”
Garcia, undefeated at 23-0, was jubilant and emotional over his victory. He thanked his father, present with him. “Everybody wants to be a champion… He told me to be a good kid.” Garcia said he knew it would be a “bloody war,” but had vowed not to let Morales “take my dreams away. If you’ve got dreams, don’t ever give up, because they come true.”
In the coming weeks, officials in Texas will have a lot of explaining to do over what transpired in the Kirkland/Molina bout; it’s doubtful any big name boxers will want to make an appearance in the Lone Star State any time soon. This hurts the Texas fans most of all. Let’s hope they put some pressure on so the situation gets fixed.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group
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