Perennial contender John Molina Jr. is retiring from boxing, ending a memorable career just days after he was stopped in eight rounds by Josesito Lopez at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Molina, 36, finished with a career record of 30-9 (24 KOs).
“There comes a time in every fighter’s career when he has to be honest with himself,” he told ESPN. “I must say it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to decide … but I’m afraid this career has run its course. It’s now time for me to enjoy the time with my beautiful family.
“I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the fans, friends and family who have supported me throughout this 13-year career. I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to live my dreams and provide a great life for my family doing it.
“I also want to thank the behind-the-scenes people that also made this career possible. My beautiful wife and daughters, my mom and dad, Rick Seidner, Al Haymon, and also all my trainers.”
Despite a limited amateur career, the hard-hitting Molina quickly developed a reputation as a fan-friendly, entertaining fighter who despite some technical imperfections never was truly out of it because of his jolting power.
Mickey Bey found that out the hard way in 2013. He had built what appeared to be an insurmountable lead on the scorecards against Molina after nine rounds in Las Vegas, but with a few big punches, Molina scored an astonishing knockout in the 10th and final round.
And then there was Molina’s memorable back-and-forth battle with Lucas Matthysse in 2014, a consensus fight of the year. After flooring Matthysse twice in that bout, he was eventually halted in the 11th round.
In December 2017, Molina had to get up from the canvas early to stop Ivan Redkach in a brutal slugfest. That ended up being his last professional victory, as he lost to Omar Figueroa in a 10-round decision in February and then Lopez on Saturday night.
Molina walks away from the sport with great memories, and no bitterness.
“Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “I’ll see you guys at the fights.”