Sandoval-Molina Meeting At The Crossroads

Sandoval-Molina Meeting At The Crossroads


Cain Sandoval and Javier Molina is an interesting fight and the co-feature of Tom Loeffler’s 360 Promotions on Friday (February 23) at Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California. 

Sandoval has been a tour-de-force as a pro. The 21-year-old from Sacramento, California is 11-0 with 11 knockouts in the junior welterweight division. Added to that, he has only gone 28 rounds. 

Yet Molina was a 2008 Olympian. He was also a major feature of the film Born and Bred that revolved around emerging Los Angeles boxers in 2011. 

Sandoval reflected the following after the weigh-in: “This is a step-up fight for me and it will take me out of the prospect category and make me a contender. I think he is ready mentally for me, but I don’t think he has fought anyone like me.”

The bout signals a crossroads for both in unlikely ways. Molina is now 34-years-old. His record is 22-5, with 9 KOs. Molina is also on a three-fight losing streak. His last fight was a split-decision defeat to Liverpool’s Robbie Davies Jr. in the U.K. Prior losses came to Jesus Ramos Jr. and Jose Pedraza.

Molina has never been stopped and doesn’t plan for that change. 

“He has never faced anyone near my level,” Molina said. “He has been running his mouth a little bit, but I have been in this game for 15 years. I have faced elite fighters and I am going to put on a show, he is going to see tomorrow.” 

“My last fight I only had six weeks’ notice. Even though I still thought I won that one that I fought in London [against Robbie Davies Jr.], I told myself I was going to let myself take a fight like that on just six weeks’ notice. When they offered me this fight they gave me 11 weeks. 

“Man, I knew that was plenty of time for me to get ready. This is a perfect fight for me.” 

For Sandoval, this marks the end of him as a regional fighter. Though Molina is older and coming off some losses, he represents a formidable test. A win here establishes him as one of the emerging talents in boxing. 

Sandoval’s trainer, Marcus Caballero was to the point on how he felt this fight would go. 

“I just think he [Molina] had his chances already and passed them up, and let things slide by him,” said Caballero. “I just think it is too late for him. I do know he has a lot of amateur experience, he does have quite a bit of pro fights too, but he should be passed where he is at with his amateur experience.

“I don’t see this fight going late. That’s just how I see the fight.”

Sandoval’s promoter, Tom Loeffler had this to say about his prospect: “Cain is a tremendous fighter. We signed him to a promotional contract after a couple of impressive wins, which were by knockout – all of his wins were by knockouts. 

“We put him on the Madison Square Garden show last November against a very tough local, Wesley Ferrer [with a record of] 17-1, and he stole the show. So after that performance he put the stamp on his career. Like okay, ‘I am here. I might have a lot of knockouts or all knockouts, but I am fighting a quality opponent’, and fighting Javier Molina is one more step in the direction he wants to go. It is a big test for him, and if he comes out victorious tomorrow, I think the sky’s the limit for Cain.”

The bout signals either the emergence of a new contender in the junior welterweight division, or it could be the revival of a crafty veteran unwilling to go away. 

The roads they walk might be different, but the consequences of a win or a loss are big for both. 

The bout is the co-main event of a telecast on UFC Fight Pass. 


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