James Kirkland’s Improbable Win

By Tom Donelson, BASN boxing writer
Updated: March 25, 2012

James Kirkland Carlos Molina...which one lost?

James Kirkland Carlos Molina...which one lost?

IOWA CITY, IOWA, (BASN)—Carlos Molina started fast as he popped the slugger James Kirkland with solid combination’s including right hands that landed fleshed into Kirkland’s face throughout the first round. Starting in the third round, Kirkland landed a few solid body shots but Molina landed the bigger blows as he nailed Kirkland with solid combination’s. Even when Molina retreated, he connected with solid left hooks and right hands plus there were times that he pushed Kirkland to the ropes just as in the fourth round, when he landed a five punch combination that shook the retreating Kirkland.

Starting with the fifth round, Kirkland come out strong as he connected on some solid lefts and he dominated the first half of the round.

Molina came back to win the rest of the round as he forced Kirkland to retreat with solid combinations. After an even sixth round, Kirkland looked like he was behind in the fight by a wide margin as he kept following Molina while Moline effectively countered.

The seventh round saw Molina returning to his form of the first four rounds as he nailed Kirkland with solid combinations while Kirkland threw one punch at a time. Kirkland looked confuse in the eighth round as he tried to out box a boxer instead of going after Molina. Kirkland instinct is to brawl but over the first eighth round, he fought cautiously as oppose to all-out attack.

After a fighting a lackluster nine rounds, Kirkland hurt Molina with two big right hand hooks at the opening of tenth round. Molina attempted to smother Kirkland to prevent Kirkland momentum. Molina struck Kirkland with a solid right hand that forced Kirkland to the rope but with less than ten seconds, Kirkland landed a right hook and straight left hand that knock Molina down but then chaos reigned.

As the knockdown was being counted, Molina’s corner came out of the corner and into the ring as they heard the bell ring ending the round.

What they didn’t realize was that the count was still going on and the referee disqualified Molina since the corner came into the ring while the round was technically was still on. Ann Wolfe, Kirkland trainers, told HBO Max Kellerman that she wanted to see the fight continued. Two of the judges had Molina winning easy even though another judge had Kirkland winning; leaving one with the question which fight was this official watching. Molina was winning the fight and maybe the fight should have continued but the fact was that it didn’t and Kirkland was declared the victor.

In the main even, Erik Morales challenged Danny Garcia and Father Time. Over first minute of the first round, Morales timed a right hand over Garcia left hand and while Garcia occasionally unleashed his faster hand; Morales managed neutralized Garcia speed by using his jab and slowing Garcia pace. Morales managed to get close in the second round as used short punches and short bursts to gain control of the round. Garcia did score with three solid left hooks but lost the battle of the jab and this allowed Morales to possibly take the round.

At the end of the third round, Garcia landed three right hands that stun Morales and forced Morales to retreat as he changed the tone of the fight. While Morales looked good for the first two minutes, youth took control over the last minute. However in the fourth round, Morales showed Garcia a few more tricks as he once again neutralized the younger fighter speed advantage by beginning with jabs and then timing his right hand. In the sixth round, a Garcia left hook followed by a right forced Morales to the rope. Garcia rapped Morales for a full minute with body shots that appeared to slow the old veteran. Morales found a way to come back with a powerful rally of his own that saw Garcia retreat to the rope as the bell rang to end the round.

Morales appeared to have the lead going into the second half of the fight and throughout the seven and eighth round; Garcia threw the harder punches but Morales scored with straighter shots in rounds that were close. With four rounds left, Morales looked tired as Garcia started to take command but there were times that Garcia looked patient, too patient to take advantage of the tired old fighter in front of him. In between the ninth and tenth round, Morales corner berated their fighter and Morales came out shooting some solid combinations and on one occasion, he feinted before landing a perfect right hand and left hook.

Over the first minute of the eleventh round, Morales popped a right hand that blooded Garcia mouth and looked like he was turning back father time before a Garcia left hook sent Morales down. Morales struggled to get up and now he found himself behind on the scorecard with a 10-8 round against him. The old warrior Morales came out in the final round on unsteady legs and trying to find a way to beat the younger fighter but despite landing a few punches, he looked like an old fighter looking for one more miracle. The miracle did not happen as Danny Garcia won the unanimous decision.

Garcia won the fight by taking control of the second half of the fight as he threw the harder punch and the left hook that sent Morales down in the eleventh round sealed the deal.

Morales did not win the fight but he showed that he was a warrior but being a warrior at this point his career means losses to elite fighters. Garcia may be a future star but for right now, he is just a good fighter with much to learn from master fighters like Morales. Morales is now 35 years old but in the ring, he is close to 45 chronologically. It is time for Morales to say good bye for he has nothing to prove and he soon will be nothing more than an opponent for up and coming prospect. Morales is a Hall of Fame fighter and it is time to enjoy the accolades that comes with being one of boxing greatest.