The February 1 edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra will feature two top Junior Middleweight contenders –The Ring Magazine’s no. 7, ESPN.com’s no. 8 ranked Junior Middleweight “King” Carlos Molina (20-5-2, 6 KOs) and former Junior Middleweight titlist and former undisputed Welterweight Champion Cory “The Next Generation” Spinks (39-7, 11 KOs) — in the 12-round main event. Check out a video preview of Molina vs. Spinks right here, as well as an overview of the entire card, which also features several other notable bouts.
Main Event: Molina vs. Spinks
Chicago’s Molina is coming off an August 10-round unanimous decision win over Damian Frias. After the fight, ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael wrote: “Frias proved to be no match for a better all-around fighter in Molina, who pitched a clean shutout. Molina was better in every facet of the fight. He jabbed Frias well, worked the body and went upstairs. It was all Molina, all the time. He showed his full arsenal and stayed sharp, awaiting the day he gets a title shot — one that he richly deserves.”
Molina said of Friday’s fight, “Spinks knows how to box, he knows how to fight. He’s been around boxing forever, since he was a kid. I’ve just got to pressure him and work his body. I need to attack.”
Spinks is looking to rebound from a June seventh-round knockout loss to Cornelius Bundrage. Spinks, son of former Heavyweight Champion Leon Spinks, enters Friday’s fight experienced, having fought former and current titlists Bundrage, Verno Phillips, Jermain Taylor, Roman Karmazin and Zab Judah. Manager Scott Hirsch said, “Molina is a very good fighter. Molina outhustles people, outworks them, and Cory knows that he’s got to up his work rate and just not get outhustled and outworked.
Co-Feature: Castillo vs. Smith
Friday’s co-feature will pit former Lightweight titlist Jose Luis “El Temible” Castillo (64-11-1, 55 KOs), against “The Truth” Antwone Smith (22-4-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-round Welterweight bout. Castillo is coming off a ninth-round TKO win over Ivan Popoca, while Smith is coming off one of his career-best wins, a 10-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Ronal Cruz.
Additional Bout Exclusively on ESPN3:
Friday’s card will also include an eight-round bout between undefeated Heavyweight Artur Szpilka (12-0, 9 KOs) and Mike Mollo (20-3-1, 12 KOs). The card will be carried exclusively at 11 p.m. on ESPN3, ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, that delivers thousands of global sports events annually and accessible online via WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold level members.
Friday’s show will air live at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 HD, and will be available online through WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app. The card will also air live on ESPN Deportes+, the new digital extension of ESPN Deportes, and will air tape delayed on ESPN Deportes at 2 a.m. The card from Chicago is promoted by Eight Count Promotions.
Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be ringside at the UIC Center describing the action for ESPN2 HD, while studio host Todd Grisham will present all the latest boxing news and look back at the best of Friday Night Fights from the month of January. Alex Pombo and Delvin Rodriguez will call the fights for ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates (Friday Night Fights) with Leopoldo Gonzalez and Pablo Viruega in the studio. Bi-lingual reporter Bernardo Osuna will present live interviews and reports for both shows.