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Adrien Broner vs. John Molina Prediction

Adrien Broner vs. John Molina Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, March 7, 2015
Where: MGM Grand Garden Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
Weight Class: Super Lightweight: 12 Rounds
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper,

Adrien Broner, 29-1 (22 KOs), Cincinnati, Ohio
John Molina, 27-5 (22 KOs), Covina, California

Boxing returns to network TV in a big way with a March 7 card that features the potential barnburner of Adrien Broner vs. John Molina. The once-beaten Broner is the obvious A-Side of this matchup, as there are still big plans for the flashy and talented Cincinnati product. But he just might have his hands full with the heavy-hitting Molina.

Broner is a difficult fighter in which to develop an accurate read. On one hand, heís clearly talented--with an abundance of speed, power, and confidence. But his results have been less-appealing than one would hope. Not to characterize his career based on his worst moments, but near-escapes against Ponce de Leon and Paulie Malignaggi, combined with the decisive defeat to Marcos Maidana suggest a reality that isnít as rosy as Broner would want you to believe. His star as a celebrity shines brighter than his star as an actual fighter. But heís still a capable fighter who has a lot of tools at his disposal. Heís immensely more athletic than Molina.

Molina is a good fighter. He may not have many dimensions and is easy to hit, but he knows what he does well and sticks to it. The man can punch and no lightweight or 140-pounder is above getting stung by the Covina slugger. And despite not being very dynamic, he is very intelligent. He knows how to think clearly in the ring and set guys up for big punches. But against a dynamic, slick, and polished guy like Broner, Molina will look ragged. He will get popped and outmaneuvered in spots and probably not look that good. But he is durable and tough enough to hang in there and try to land something big. Weíve seen him get outboxed for an entire fight, only to spring forth with a late explosion to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Heís made a career of finding a way to beat guys who were better technically.

Even so, Molina is pretty straight-up. Heís easy to hit for fighters with only a fraction of Bronerís tools. And guys with good movement can flummox Molina and keep him from getting untracked. The one thing about Molina is that he can look like a relative amateur for rounds on end. At the end of the day, heís a thoughtful and hard-hitting professional who can turn things around on a dime.

Broner may suffer from some delusions of grandeur, which is not what a betting man wants to see with a substantial favorite. Most were flabbergasted when he turned down a $40M deal from a promoter. He carries on like heís Floyd Mayweather with all the extravagance, but his actual accomplishments are not close to being on that level. His lifestyle, issues with weight, and big ego seem to be hindrances. That doesnít mean he wonít be in shape, but mentally, his sense of urgency is not appropriately high enough for his situation. Heís still trying to climb the ladder and already thinks heís the king, even after Marcos Maidana dominated him as a large underdog.

One has to wonder if the returns will be diminishing on Molina at this point. Heís 32 and has been through some wars. The Lucas Matthysse battle was a frenzied brawl and a taxing one, as well. Then he came back and closed 2014 with a decision loss to well-traveled Humberto Soto. Heís only 3-4 in his last 7 fights. But the competition has been steep, with two of the losses being very competitive. In 2013, he beat current IBF champ Mickey Bey in another last-minute KO shocker. But he was indeed flat against Soto and that followed a grueling war against the fierce-hitting Matthysse. Broner may be catching Molina at the right time.

But then again, one has to question the customary betting status of Broner and how heís being characterized as a star. His effort always seems to lag behind his talent. His confidence helps him, but then runs amok at some point--to his ultimate detriment. Not to hyperbolically downplay his actual merit as a fighter, but if you tuned out all the hype and muted the announcers, and just judged him off what you see in the ring, youíd have a different picture of him.

To Bronerís credit, he has scored clear wins over the likes of Emmanuel Taylor, Carlos Molina, and Antonio DeMarco. And Molina is more of an opportunistic power-puncher who doesnít have the same style that has troubled Broner before--either a straight ahead non-stop approach like Maidana or a slick speedster style like what Malignaggi used to good effect. Without being constantly under fire, Broner will be able to better dictate the pace and fall into a comfort zone.

As weíve seen before, Broner as a -900 against a good fighter, which Molina is, can be a dicey proposition. He should handle Molina. He may even do so in dominant fashion. Molina could conceivably be in a bit over his head stylistically and ability-wise. But at +600, youíre getting a monstrous-punching and ambitious fighter who is pretty hit-and-miss, but when heís on, he can knock it out of the park. Iím taking a whirl on Molina.

Lootís Pick to Win the Fight: Iím betting on John Molina at +600.

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